Despite all the media promotion, there is no organic interest in O’Rourke. Search volume in the US since the beginning of December, after the dust of the mid-terms had settled, for the top four candidates and O’Rourke:
Search index scores–basically average interest over the period–are as follows:
Biden — 20
Warren — 18
Harris — 17
Sanders — 14
O’Rourke — 1
The Democrat party is not going to nominate the Macron-Trudeau hybrid in 2020. I could not figure out how serious people–and serious money, as he was until very recently at the top of the PredictIt 2020 Dem market–were identifying him as the frontrunner. The only two white men with a chance at the nomination are Biden and Sanders, both on account of their long party histories. The days of white male Democrats rising to the top of the party are over. There are those like the aforementioned Biden and Sanders who will be grandfathered in, but the door to national-level leadership is shut for new entrants.
Even though Obama was a US senator who gave the 2004 DNC keynote address, it wasn’t until The Audacity of Hope was released in October of 2006, insinuating an impending presidential run, that he attracted all the attention that he did. Here is search volume for the first nine months of 2006, comparable to the first nine months of 2018 with regards to the respective presidential election cycles:
I distinctly remember making a lighthearted joke about Obama to a few black guys while playing basketball in a section 8 apartment complex gym near the place I worked at in the summer of 2006 and no one knew who I was talking about. Parenthetically, the complex is in a suburban area that was fairly nice then and is still livable today, though it is predictably declining as the demographics of the area shift. And yes, there was (still is, probably) a rec center–a pretty crappy one, with nothing but a basketball court of any use, but an indoor center all the same–in the middle of a section 8 apartment complex.
I’ve talked to several black people over the last several months who similarly have no recognition of the name “Kamala Harris”. When they find out she’s a black(enough) woman running for president, she will become their candidate.