In the hotel lobby, I found Todd O’Day, who works for Microsoft in Seattle, and Scott Braymer, who develops apps in Santa Cruz, Calif.. They were still composed, but by the time we finished talking, they too were crying.

Last December, even before the former Texas congressman announced for president, Braymer had founded an organization he called Envoys for Beto through Facebook. He says it now has hundreds of members who help organize events for O’Rourke. “I put my whole life on hold, and [went] into major debt to do it,” Braymer said. “I figured he was a new paradigm in politics.” Sure, some people thought it was goofy that O’Rourke livestreamed so much of his life, but Braymer liked the “radical transparency.”

O’Day says that on top of holding a full-time job at Microsoft, he was working four hours every night for O’Rourke. I asked him whether there is anyone else in the field he might support. He paused a moment. “I rode a plane in yesterday with Amy,” he said, referring to another long shot] candidate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). “I don’t know. I’d have to think about it. I like Amy.”