Beto O’Rourke and Greg Abbott to clash in first and only Texas debate

Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott will face Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke on Friday – and possibly only – in the debate ahead of the November 8 election, with continuing border crisis Major issue facing the Lone Star State.

Polls have shown Abbott Consistently Leading O’Rourke, who became a national figure in 2018 narrowly losing to Sen. Ted Cruz – sparking hopes among national Democrats that the reliably red state may soon turn purple, or even blue.

“I see it here: Most Texans are just starting to tune into this election,” O’Rourke, 50, said before a demonstration in the Rio Grande Valley city of Edinburgh.

But Abbott, who leads the Democrats by eight percentage points in the polls average as measured by RealClearPolitics, even O’Rourke won two races with at least $30 million in the first half of this year. – Outranked the incumbent of the term.

“The game isn’t over yet, and we’ll see how close it is when all is said and done,” Abbott said earlier this month.

O’Rourke has employed rhetoric attacking the campaign trail and hopes to do the same in the debate, with Abbott calling for the state’s nearly complete ban on abortion and Republicans’ hands-off approach to gun control in the wake of May. After. 24 Uvalde school massacre in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott shakes hands with a member of the National Guard after speaking during a news conference along the Rio Grande in 2021.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott shakes hands with a member of the National Guard after speaking during a news conference along the Rio Grande in 2021.
Julio Cortez / AP

Texas abortion restrictions contain no exemptions for rape, and further block access to the procedure after a June Supreme Court decision overturned Roe v. Wade. Abbott also Some criticized for their response for the Uvalde shooting, but it is unclear O’Rourke’s views on the guns, including previous support for a Ban on AR-15-style firearmsThere would be a liability in Texas.

O’Rourke is now calling for raising the legal age to purchase weapons to 21 – a move that Abbott is strongly against.

“If Beto can celebrate Abbott in a moment where there’s a big difference on gun control, I think it could have a big impact,” Jason Villalba, who runs the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, told the AP. “But to do that you have to be aggressive and take big risks.”

Meanwhile, Abbott’s focus on immigration is expected to remain as the ongoing border boom has sparked a humanitarian crisis and national political debate. a record 2. Were Lakhs of illegal border crossings were logged in the last 11 months, According to data released this month by US Customs and Border Protection.

The incumbent is expected to trumpet his “Operation Lone Star” program that sent state police and the National Guard to assist border municipalities.

But despite the campaign, it can be difficult for any candidate to move the needle significantly.

In a Quinnipiac University poll of potential voters released Wednesday, 96% of respondents said they have already made up their mind about who to vote for.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign rally on August 24, 2022 in Humble, Texas.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke’s stance on guns could hurt him with some Texas voters.
Brandon Bell / Getty Images

A large majority of voters (38%) ranked the border as the most pressing issue facing Texas, followed by abortion (17%) and inflation (11%). No other issue came in double digits, with gun policy coming closest to 8% of voters as the top issue.

“The race for the top job in Austin leans toward Abbott, who has very strong support from white Texans, especially white men, while O’Rourke has huge appeal among black voters and strong support among younger voters,” said Quinnipiac. University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a statement.

A statewide Democratic victory would not only send political shocks to the largest Republican-led state, but it could mean a different-looking electoral map in future presidential races.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference on September 13, 2022 in Houston, Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed outrage over his response to the Uvalde school massacre in May.
Brandon Bell / Getty Images

O’Rourke came within 3 percentage points of defeating Cruz in 2018, but Republicans have tightened a grip on statewide politics, even as Democratic support grew in the state’s urban centers and among black voters. Yes, it is revealed by voting.

Friday’s debate will also be the first time the candidates will meet in person since O’Rourke faced Abbott. Uvalde at a briefing after the shooting.

“The time to stop the next shoot is now and you’re doing nothing!” O’Rourke yelled at Abbott, before he ran away to safety.

post with wires

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