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Contrary to polling data indicating President Donald Trump remains fabulously popular among Texas Republicans, here’s a fact-based projection on, as of Monday, how many votes he’ll get in our state’s March 3 GOP primary:
And that’s because as of Monday, Trump was ineligible to get any votes in the Texas primary because he had not yet filed as a candidate for that contest. Oh, odds are good he’ll do so prior to the Dec. 9 deadline. Maybe right now he’s too busy fighting to get to serve out his current term to waste time applying for another one.
So, for now, here’s the entire list of candidates who will appear on the March 3 Texas GOP presidential primary ballot. None are household names, unless, of course, you’re part of their households:
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente Guerra, a businessman from San Diego who campaigns as Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente; Zoltan Istvan, a transhumanist lecturer from Mill Valley, Calif.; Matthew John Matern, a self-described “entrepreneur, attorney, philanthropist, optimist and a proudly patriotic American” from Manhattan Beach, Calif.; and Bob Ely, an Illinois entrepreneur who unsuccessfully sought the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination.
For the record, and as generally a GOP primary voter, let me be clear that I’d very likely vote for any Republican over Trump. I’m firmly on board with the “Any Functional Adult 2020” boomlet.
So, GOP primary voters, let’s take a look at our two of our choices as of Monday. Both are, to be kind, intriguing. Let’s remember that what’s great about America is that anybody can grow up to be president. Let’s also remember that what’s not so great about America is that anybody can grow up to be president — even an obnoxious, delusional, misogynistic, xenophobic, philandering bully.
De La Fuente and Istvan both ran for president in 2016, but neither was among the 13 candidates on that year’s Texas presidential primary ballot when Sen. Ted Cruz ran first with 43.8% and Trump was second at 26.8%.
My colleague Jonathan Tilove captured the essence of the Istvan campaign in October 2015 in a blog. Tilove tagged along with Istvan after getting an alluring invitation in which Istvan noted, “We’re the only presidential campaign talking policy on designer babies, artificial intelligence, robots taking all our jobs, a universal basic income, ectogenesis, living to 150, etc.”
Istvan’s current website notes The New York Times (or someone writing in The New York Times) once called him “polite and charismatic … a plausibly presidential aura.” I’m old enough to remember when politeness was a contributing factor to a plausibly presidential aura.
The first plank in Istvan’s Transhumanist Bill of Rights says, “Designate aging as a disease. Lay groundwork for rights for other future advanced sapient beings like conscious robots and cyborgs.”
Writing at cnet.com, Eric Mack recently told us, “Zoltan Istvan, a man who opens doors with a chip embedded in his hand and wants Americans to live forever, is now taking on President Donald Trump from inside his own party.” The article’s headline said, “Meet the cyborg who’s running against Donald Trump for president.”
A cyborg instead of Trump? Sure, why not? Heck, I’d take Björn Borg instead of Trump.
De La Fuente is what’s semi-politely called a “perennial candidate.” In 2016, he was the presidential candidate of the Reform Party and the American Delta Party (the latter a creation of his own). That year, he also unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Florida, though he doesn’t live there.
In 2018, he somehow got on the ballots in primaries for U.S. Senate seats from nine different states, winning none. He made his money in auto dealerships, banks, assisted living facilities and currency exchange businesses.
FYI, as of late Monday afternoon, the only Democrats who’ve signed up for the Texas presidential primary are ex-Veep Joe Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang and U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Tom Steyer tried to file but somehow submitted the wrong form. He’s got time to fix it.