By Barnini Chakraborty
Published May 21, 2019
The frenzy surrounding Beto O'Rourke seems to have fizzled out.
America Rising, a top Republican opposition research firm, had been fielding a mountain of requests from political reporters on the Texan but says in the 10 weeks since he announced his bid to become the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, inquires about him have dwindled considerably.
"The requests for oppo on him have completed dried off," a staffer at America Rising told The Daily Beast.
A lack of interest could spell more trouble for O'Rourke in a heavily crowded Democratic field.
O’Rourke, himself, seemed to acknowledge the dip in interest during an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
“I recognize I can do a better job also of talking to a national audience,” O'Rourke said. “I hope that I’m continuing to do better over time, but we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate with the campaign that we’ve run so far."
Once at the top of Democratic watch-lists, O'Rourke is now registering in the single digits in several national polls. In the latest Fox News Poll, O'Rourke is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris. He is barely edging out New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Julian Castro.
An April Quinnipiac poll shows him tumbling from 12 percent to 5 percent.
It's a stunning drop for the presidential contender who garnered immense media attention.
Despite his 2018 Senate loss to Ted Cruz, R-Texas, O'Rourke still managed to galvanize Texans, resulting in a massive turnout among first-time voters in some key counties. Supporters were still on board when he took the nation on a somewhat-aimless tour of America to find himself. In a series of posts on Medium, O'Rourke blogged about the sights, his thoughts and conversations he's had with diners.
Though his campaign is starting to roll out a new hiring initiative in key states and O'Rourke is hitting the media circuit more, some wonder if he's fallen too far behind in the highly competitive race.