Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s campaign has been omnipresent since he announced his bid to take on taxpayer champion US Sen. Ted Cruz.
Driving through San Marcos, home of Texas State University, “Beto” signs sit in almost every yard. In a college town, other than the fact that he’s extremely liberal, why is it that he is so popular?
The answer is O’Rourke is getting young people involved in ways that many campaigns haven’t been able to do in the past. His popularity has exploded and his campaign has received millions more in donations than the Cruz campaign. There is a simple reason for this, one that O’Rourke has used to his advantage—Hollywood and social media.
He has embraced social media, using Facebook Live to further his cause on the House floor and air a “bipartisan road trip” with left-leaning Republican Rep. Will Hurd (R–Helotes) to DC in December of 2017. Social media is also the reason he has appeared on Ellen and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Being highlighted by major Hollywood figures increases his name ID across the country, and those same leftists are also contributing to his race.
O’Rourke is also an extremely attractive candidate to college students. Besides the “cool factor” of his time in a punk-rock band and videos of him skateboarding in Whataburger parking lots, his campaign offers paid positions to college students as ambassadors, even if they haven’t been involved in politics before.
According to O’Rourke’s website, his campaign offers a student fellow program that not only pays well but requires very few qualifications. The only requirement is enrollment in a Texas college or university and ability to work until election day.
Time commitments are listed as 20 hours, 30 hours, and 40 hours per week, with compensation listed as “$300 per week for the 20 hours per week commitment, $450 per week for the 30 hours per week commitment, and $600 per week for the 40 hours per week commitment.” College students are able to make up to $2400 a month working a campaign from their campus. With 33 campuses/college systems listed, the amount of money offered is—for lack of a better term—nuts.
Using the younger generation as his gateway—combining social media fame with job opportunities—you have thousands of young Texans convinced that “Beto” actually has a chance. Thousands of young Texnas helping to increase his name recognition with his campaign signs, bumper stickers, and t-shirts across major Texas cities.
And, while O’Rourke might have young people on his side now, if the policies he stands for—like universal healthcare, gun control, and other harmful leftist policies—are enacted, this younger generation will be reaping the consequences for years to come.