A closer look at a potential Beto O’Rourke run for Governor of Texas – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The news that Democrat Beto O’Rourke is planning to run against Governor Greg Abbott has got people talking, including Democratic activist Haley Taylor Schlitz.

“I am excited about the potential role reversal, a potential change in our government. I think it’s important to consider that over time America and Texas are starting to look different.

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So far, no major Democrat has stepped forward to challenge the governor. In June, O’Rourke drew hundreds of supporters to a rally in Denton he organized to fight against the Election Integrity Bill. At the time, he told me that he would consider running after the election and that any candidate would have a lot to think about. “It’s a long, exhausting and brutal affair. There are 254 of those counties if you want to get it right, so I wouldn’t be surprised if people think about the scope and scale of the challenge and look at the field and make their decision.

O’Rourke ran for president last year and came close to defeating Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. Many Democrats did well nationally and in Texas that year because it was the year of President Donald Trump’s midterm elections. Next year is President Joe Biden’s midterm election year, and Republicans should do well. Historically, the political party outside the White House has made gains in Congress and state elections.

SMU political science professor Matthew Wilson said on Tuesday that Mr O’Rourke would face challenges. “We won’t see the kind of Betomania if he runs next year that we saw in 2018. That said, there is still a core of support and enthusiasm for him. But his failed presidential campaign has really revealed. a lot of flaws in him as a candidate, which has caused a lot of people to re-evaluate and have a more negative assessment than they had a few years ago.
A new Dallas Morning News / UT-Tyler poll shows O’Rourke’s favorable rating at 34%, his negative rating at 42%. He follows Governor Abbott in the same poll from 42 to 37 percent. Abbott has $ 55 million in his campaign account.

Wilson said that even though the governor is challenged by two major Conservative candidates, former Texas GOP President Allen West and former State Senator Don Huffines from Dallas, the governor is seen as the frontrunner in the primary elections and general. “This in no way suggests that the race is a done deal. This in no way suggests that Abbott is not vulnerable. But Abbott has the advantage ahead of the election.
The same poll shows that Abbott’s popularity has plummeted. His job approval rate is 45%, while 44% disapprove.

In the main game, polls show Abbott leads West 65-20% and Huffines 70-15%. One of the governor’s closest political allies, State Senator Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills, swept the poll results away.

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“I’ve also seen those same polls that have him victorious against one of his opponents, and so at the end of the day that’s where you look. If you look at everyone’s numbers, I would take theirs on their opponents.

Current Texas Republican Party Chairman Matt Rinaldi said earlier this month he would like to see O’Rourke return to the ring. “I think Republicans are optimistic that Beto O’Rourke decides to run for governor given his background.”

In an interview earlier this month, President of the Texas Democratic Party, Gilberto Hinojosa, told me that if O’Rourke ran he would campaign effectively for his message. “He’s the one who expresses that best in this state, much better than any Republican.” We hope he will run. We think he can beat Greg Abbott.

State Senator Royce West from Dallas is among those waiting to see if O’Rourke enters the race. “He will be a person to be reckoned with in the general election if he is the Democratic candidate. I welcome his participation and I also understand exactly what will be his program. “

Schlitz said that while there is always a concern when former candidates run again, O’Rourke’s efforts to register voters give him credibility among Democrats. “I think his post was consistent in that he’s very passionate, and I think it resonates with voters that just because you lost, you didn’t pass out, that you actually care about the issue. , it’s not just the election. “

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