Texans are already voting early for the March 1st primary. Everyone is expecting Governor Greg Abbott to run against former Congressman Beto O’Rourke for governor.
What I find interesting is how little things have changed since October. In the last four polls, the governor is up 10 according to the RCP average. He is at 48.5%, or just slightly under the coveted 50% mark for those seeking reelection. On the other side, O’Rourke is at 38% over the same polls.
My guess is that Governor Abbott will easily go over 50% when the primary is over. According to the Texas Tribune, he is at 60% with GOP voters. In other words, he is headed for a first-round victory and then can focus exclusively on O’Rourke, who can’t seem to get over 40%.
Another issue for O’Rourke is money, as the Tribune points out:
Abbott and O’Rourke are both political juggernauts for their respective parties with huge fundraising prowess, but so far O’Rourke has not been able to match Abbott on money in the bank.
Abbott raised $1.4 million compared to O’Rourke’s $1.3 million in the first 20 days of January. But Abbott has built a $62.6 million campaign war chest over his terms in office, which dwarfs the approximately $6 million that O’Rourke — who essentially started fresh when he announced his gubernatorial campaign last year — currently holds.
The money issue is always a challenge in Texas statewide races because of huge TV markets in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, etc. It takes a lot of money to flood those TV screens in Texas.
The primary is in two weeks. So far, the race has not changed much.