Midterm results: Abbott wins Texas governor’s race, fending off high-profile challenge from Beto O’Rourke

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Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke. (AP)

Midterm results: Abbott wins Texas governor’s race, fending off high-profile challenge from Beto O’Rourke

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Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) won reelection on Tuesday, fending off a high-profile challenge from Beto O’Rourke and cementing the Republican governor’s influence on the state as he eyes a 2024 presidential bid.

Abbott’s midterm win on Tuesday paves the way for the Republican to serve a third term as Texas governor, a position that has allowed him to garner national headlines and establish himself as a rising star within the party. He has also been considered a contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, although Abbott has not indicated whether he plans to run.

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Throughout his tenure, Abbott has enjoyed high favorability ratings among Texas voters, bolstering him above O’Rourke during the midterm cycle. Those ratings were only heightened in recent months as Abbott approved the busing of thousands of immigrants to northern Democratic-led cities as a way to call attention to the border crisis.

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More than half (52%) of voters said they approve of the way Abbott has handled the border crisis, with another 54% backing his directive to send buses carrying immigrants to Washington, D.C., according to a Dallas Morning News-University of Texas, Tyler, poll conducted in September. More than 8,000 immigrants have been bused to Washington, D.C., from Texas and Arizona over the last six months, creating what local government officials have deemed a “humanitarian crisis.”

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Abbott faced a series of uphill challenges during his reelection bid, attempting to take issues such as abortion and gun control that Democrats sought to use as political attacks and reframe them as working in his favor.

O’Rourke especially seized on gun rights during his campaign, knocking the incumbent for the state’s gun laws that he said contributed to a mass shooting at an elementary school in May that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Still, 45% of voters said they would trust Abbott to reduce crime in the state over O’Rourke, according to the poll.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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