By: Sebastian Yan
Greg Abott will be running against Beto O’Rourke for Texas governor this year. With the recent turmoils due to mass shootings and the revival of abortion ban, the public has turned their attention to former democratic congressman O’Rourke. Polls have been tightening, suggesting that Gov. Abbott, the two-term incumbent, will face some serious challenges from his democratic rival.
Recent crises, including the power grid failure and the tragedy that occured at Uvalde, have significantly swayed public opinion right before the mid-term election. “Dobbs on the margins has harm Republicans in Texas. Uvalde on the margins has harm Republicans in Texas. The grid has harm Republicans in Texas,” said Mark P. Jones, a professor of political science at Rice College. The latest poll results showed that O’Rourke has cut Abbotts lead in half. In addition, Mr. O’Rourke is now leading with extra marketing campaign money, with $27.6 million compared to Mr. Abbott’s $24.9 million.
Despite O’Rourke closing the gap to Abbott, the incumbent governor still leads the poll with huge support from rich corporations. Among the largest donors were Javaid Anwar, the executive of Midland Power, and Kelcy Warren of Power Switch, with most of these supporters donating more than $1 million. In addition, the disappointment with the inflation that has occurred under the Biden Administration will significantly help the voter turnouts for Abbott, as Professor Jones called it a “saving grace” for the republicans.
While Democrats are once more hoping for Texas to turn blue, Republican’s deeply rooted support and financial backing from big donors will remain a key weapon for Gov Abbott.