Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, appears to be comfortably leading Democrat Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke ahead of the state’s upcoming gubernatorial race.
The Republican governor commands a strong 11-point lead against his opponent, according to a University of Texas at Tyler poll.
He also led O’Rourke with key voter demographics, including Latinos (40 percent to 39 percent), independents (37 percent to 31 percent), and white voters (57 percent to 28 percent).
Gov. Abbott, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump in June, is running for reelection to a third term. As governor, he has frequently opposed the policies of Joe Biden. So far, he has banned vaccine mandates, and resumed construction on the border wall.
He also recently appeared before tens of thousands at President Trump’s rally in Conroe, Texas on Saturday.
Several candidates have launched primary challenges against Abbott, often criticizing the governor for not completely locking down the southern border and not banning abortion entirely.
Abbott’s GOP primary challengers include former state Sen. Don Huffines, former Texas GOP Chair Allen West, and television host Chad Prather.
However, Abbott comfortably led his Republican challengers with 59 percent ahead of the March primaries, according to the University of Texas at Tyler poll.
The Republican who wins the gubernatorial nomination will likely face off against O’Rourke in the general election.
However, O’Rourke, a former congressman who launched failed bids for the Senate in 2018 and the White House in 2020, will face a tough election after taking radical stances.
O’Rourke’s 2019 promises to “take away” rifles such as AR-15s will likely come back to haunt him in Texas, the state with the most registered firearms in the nation. He has also vowed to “take down the wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Texas Democrat is bound to face more roadblocks due to the unpopularity of Joe Biden, of whom 57 percent of Texans disapprove. O’Rourke has reiterated that he is “not interested” in receiving any campaign help from Biden.