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Beto O'Rourke's Chances of Beating Greg Abbott in Texas Governor Race

Newsweek 9/27/2022 Ewan Palmer
Beto O'Rourke pictured in Austin, Texas, March, 2022 and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pictured in Houston,Texas,September, 2022 © Getty Beto O'Rourke pictured in Austin, Texas, March, 2022 and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pictured in Houston,Texas,September, 2022

Democrat Beto O'Rourke's chances of pulling off a victory in the race for Texas governor looks increasingly unlikely as yet another poll gives the Republican incumbent Greg Abbott a healthy lead.

According to a survey from Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TXHPF) and local TEGNA television stations, Abbott leads O'Rourke by 51 percent to 44 percent among likely voters and 53 percent to 43 percent among the most likely (almost certain) voters.

The survey also showed that with just a few weeks until November's midterm elections, few voters said they are undecided or willing to switch their allegiances.

The results showed only 3 percent of likely voters and 2 percent of most likely voters are undecided as to who they will vote for Texas governor in November.

"Gov. Abbott's strength among rural and Anglo voters continues to bolster his intransigent structural support in the 2022 race for Texas Governor," said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TXHPF.

"While O'Rourke has shown himself to be a worthy and hard-working adversary, unless there is a marked shift in the composition of the November electorate, Governor Abbott will remain the political and thought leader of Texas politics. Only new voters will be able to shift the tide."

O'Rourke, who failed in his 2018 Senate run against Texas Republican Ted Cruz and also had an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, was the overwhelming winner in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in March, with more than 91 percent of the votes.

However, the former congressman, 50, looks almost certain to fail in his attempt to unseat Abbott in November, with Real Clear Politics' collection of polls showing that O'Rourke has been behind Abbott in the past 26 surveys, dating back to June.

The TXHPF poll arrived just days after another survey gave Abbott a seven-point lead over O'Rourke.

The Spectrum News and Siena College survey released on September 21 showed Abbott with a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over his Democratic challenger.

An Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll conducted September 20-22 gave Abbott an 8-point lead over O'Rourke (50 percent to 42 percent).

When broken down, the data shows that Abbott is the preferred choice for white voters (60 percent to 35 percent) and Hispanic voters (46 percent to 42 percent), while O'Rourke has far more support from Black voters in Texas, 78 percent against 12 percent.

When asked about abortion—a key campaign issue for the Democrats in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade—49 percent of Texas said they align with Abbott's view to ban the procedure in almost all circumstances, while 44 percent align with O'Rourke's bid to keep abortions widely available in the state.

"Among those much more likely to vote because of Roe overturning, 62 percent plan to vote for O'Rourke. For those to whom it makes no difference, 72 percent plan to vote for Abbott," said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling.

Newsweek has contacted O'Rourke for comment.

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