SUGAR LAND, TX – One of deadliest school shooting in US history. rebirth of 1920s ban on abortion. Worst Country Episode of migrant death in recent memory. And the electrical network, which failed in severe frost, then straining under the soaring heat.
Inexorable succession of death as well as difficulty facing Texans over in last two months ruined them on in direction of state, causing damage to Gov. Greg Abbott and making race for governor arguably the most competitive since the Democrats last I thought that office in 1990s.
Polls have shown that between Mr. Abbott, two-term the incumbent and his ubiquitous Democratic rival former Congressman Beto O’Rourke. Mr. O’Rourke is picking up now more campaign cash than Mr. Abbott, from $27.6 million to $24.9 million. in in last feed – in a race which is likely to be one of the most expensive of 2022.
Suddenly, Incredibly, Possibly Unwisely, Texas Democrats again dare to think – how they in many recent years of elections – what, perhaps, it could be year.
“Seems like a little of the worst things that happen in this country has its roots in Texas,” said James Talarico, Democratic Representative north of Austin. “We’re seeing a resurgence in fighting spirit.”
At the same time the winds of national flogged discontent hard in another direction, against democrats. Texans, like many Americans felt the tension of rising inflation and low opinion of President Biden. Unlike four years ago, when Mr. O’Rourke challenged Senator Ted Cruz and almost won during the mid-term referendum on President Donald J. Trump Who Raised Democrats Now It’s Republicans who are animated hostile to the White House and ready to profit in state races.
But in there has been a noticeable shift in recent weeks in Texas as registered in several public surveys and some internal campaign polls, after the school shooting in Uvalde, who killed 19 children and two teachers and a US Supreme Court decision on abortion, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which brought back in force a 1925 law banning all abortions except when a woman’s life is at risk risk.
“Dobbs on the fringes hurt the Republicans in Texas. Uvalde on the fields hurt the Republicans in Texas. Grid hurt the Republicans in Texas,” said Mark P. Jones, professor of political science at Rice University who helped hold one recent poll. “Biden and inflation were their salvation.”
And issue of gun control was the main concern among others group what the Republicans are fighting hard to win Far from Democrats: Hispanic women.
Separate survey conducted by the university of Texas in Austin and released this month showed 59 percent of respondents thought Texas was on “wrong track”, highest amount in more than a decade of asking this question. Another, from the University of Quinnipiac, found Mr. O’Rourke within 5 percent points of governor.
How new polls have shown that Mr O’Rourke’s numbers are improving and Mr Abbott’s campaign convened a conference call with reporters this month.
Key topics of the 2022 midterm elections so far
State of intermediate deadlines. Now we over halfway through this year the intermediate primary season, and some key ideas and questions began to emerge from results. Here’s a look at what we’ve learned so far:
“We’re right on track where we are want be,” said Dave Carney, a spokesman for the governor. campaign strategist, adding that their strategy still linked to tying Mr. O’Rourke to Mr. Biden and reminding voters of Positions of Mr. O’Rourke on gun control, police reform and the oil industry during its failed run in 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.
“He’s about to relive a spectacular disaster of Run for President and everything he said,” Mr. Carney said. “Believe me, he liked to talk, and that’s all on video and all this contradicts what values and what the vast majority of Texans believe.”
This approach was part of Mr. Abbott’s message from the very beginning, especially on in issue of guns. AT one of in first attacks on Mr O’Rourke, Abbot campaign emphasized his oath during the presidential campaign pick up AR-15 rifles.
A moment that infuriated many Republicans also rattled Democrats at the same time. who, like Mr. Talarico, was keen to see an aggressive policy throughout the state. standard-carrier. He showed everyone of us who believe in democracy in broad sense of in term how respond,” Mr. Talarico said.
Uvalda has a Hispanic majority city where is the hunt common pastime, political sentiment changed after the massacre at Robb’s elementary school. Many now support stricter gun laws. “Here everyone has a gun,” said Vincent Salazar. who lost granddaughter in shooting. “But this is different. Nobody needs AR-15s. We need ban them.”
At a march organized by the victims’ families this month, Mr. O’Rourke addressed the crowd and appeared to be warmly welcomed. “Vote for them out!” a little in the crowd chanted.
Mr Carney, in his call with reporters acknowledged that the school shooting and new restrictions on abortion helped Mr O’Rourke. “Honestly, the advantage in all of this for Beto was in online fundraising,” he said.
Mr O’Rourke eclipsed Mr Abbott in small-dollar donations, collection more than three times so many cash in donations of $200 or less, according to Texas Tribune analysis. And he began to take in also big checks: $1 million from billionaire George Soros, a longtime patron of Democratic candidates and $2 million from Simone and Tench Cox, recent Austin settlers from California.
However, Mr. Abbott, an active fundraiser, more campaign cash in in bank – almost $46 million compared to with about 24 million dollars for Mr O’Rourke – and ability draw quickly on big network of wealthy donors. Mr. Abbott took in 62 donations of $100,000 or more during latest fundraising period vs. with six for Mr O’Rourke.
Among the governor’s biggest donors were energy company executives. like Javid Anwar of Midland Energy (about $1.4 million), Kelsey Warren of Energy Transfer ($1 million) and Gary Martin of Falcon Bay Energy, who provided Mr. Abbott with $680,000 worth of airplane flights.
Mr Abbott campaign It has already $20 million reserved in advertising expenses for a fall that Mr. Carney said would aggressively target gubernatorial voters to interest them and turn out.
“We are narrowing down to less than 10 percent of voters,” he said. He also predicted that Mr. Abbott win among Hispanic Texans.
adriana Aldin, public policy consultant who worked with Republican Party of Texas in in the past said that both candidates have ties to the Hispanic community, indicating out Mr. O’Rourke’s fluency in Spanish and education in El Paso’s Hispanic majority and Mr. Abbott’s wife, whose family immigrated from Mexico.
“This is very clear that Latin Americans are very conservative in their values,” she said, but with room for Moderation. About the weapon she quoted her own view that the state’s unauthorized carry law passed in 2021 and signed by Mr. Abbott may have gone too far in in direction of removal of restrictions.
“Personally, I have gun. I have a license for this gun. I had a background check. I believe that it is normal to have such things,” she said. “I know so much of my Republican colleagues disagree.”
Looking for capital on what his advisers see as momentum, Mr O’Rourke is back on the road, in his political comfort zone, with 49 days drive to events around Texas.
“If you are just watch from April to July, race changed 5 points”said Chris Evans, spokesperson for in campaign. “People are unhappy with in direction The state is coming and we are going straight to them and offering them an alternative.”
But it is not clear how for a long time effect of recent events on the Texas electorate will last.
Growth in consumer spending was ahead of intelligence for Sophia Graves, 50 on recent day at First Colony mall in Sugar Land, a. fast-growing community outside of Houston, which is one of the most diverse in the country.
“All expensive right now,” said Miss Graves, real real estate agent from nearby Missouri, who went shopping with she is 17-year-old daughter. “We need relief.”
But she said she still plans vote for Mr O’Rourke because “he just refreshing”, and she agreed with his on politics like abortion and need for stricter gun regulations. She said that recently events It was made her optimism that he could win. “I more hope,” she said. “It’s time for turn.”
inflation was also Ahmad Sadozai main a concern that threatens the middle-class lifestyle that he says has attracted so many immigrants to the United States. “I love this country,” Mr. Sadozai said. who came to Texas as an Afghan refugee almost 20 years ago and works two jobs as a school bus driver. driver and home health assistant. He didn’t have a preferred candidate for governor.
“They are need raise your salary,” he said, stopping to take a bite of banana ice cream in rental-up wafer. “Besides, I like it. Look what I’m eating!” he said with smile.
Edgar Sandoval made a report.