Beto O’Rourke Drew a Bigger Crowd Than Any Democrat Since Obama

It didn’t hurt that Willie Nelson was there, too.

Beto O'Rourke

Laura Roberts/Invision/AP

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On Saturday night, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz in one of this year’s most competitive Senate races, held a much-anticipated campaign rally with country legend Willie Nelson in Austin. And, well, a few people showed up:

According to organizers, the event attracted 55,000 (presumably) supporters—more than any Democratic candidate has drawn for a single event since President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail.

O’Rourke, who was once a drummer in a punk rock band, joined Nelson on vocals for a new anti-Cruz ballad, “Vote ‘Em Out”:

O’Rourke, who trails the incumbent by 4.5 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average, was originally slated to debate Cruz for the second time Sunday, but the debate was postponed late last week when it appeared senators might need to remain in Washington for weekend votes on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. No makeup date has been scheduled yet; the final debate is on tap for October 16.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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