The battle was not going well for the populares. Plebs had lost most of their political power, and their leaders had been rounded up and slaughtered. Defeated in the field, oppressed on all sides, and politically powerless, the plebs of Rome were desperate for a savior.
The hoped that a General named Pompey would solve their problems. Pompey was from a pleb family. Despite being a Plebs, Pompey was acclaimed as one of Rome's greatest generals. He won campaigns in Sicily, Africa, Spain, and Syria and even cleared the pirates from the seas. The people thought that since he was born a Pleb that he would protect their interests, but he did not. He had worked so hard to attain the rights of the upper classes that he was not going to give up this privilege.
Instead of giving them rights, he gave them bread and circuses. This distracted the poor plebs from their problems and proved an extremely effective method of controlling the Roman "mob". So effective that future politicians would copy this for hundreds of years.