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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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