GOP worries Beto could win the suburbs
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke drew thousands of people to a rally in Frisco during the weekend, prompting worry among some Collin County Republicans.
- "Texas is turning blue," Kyle Sims, a GOP Collin County precinct chair, told his Facebook followers after seeing the size of O'Rourke's crowd. "Collin County is turning blue."
Why it matters: If he has any hope of defeating Gov. Greg Abbott in November, O'Rourke will have to do well in the state's suburbs.
- Collin and Denton counties could be key battlegrounds.
Driving the news: O'Rourke told reporters in Frisco that the large crowd is a signal that he can win in Collin County.
The big picture: Concerns about the stability of the state's power grid and Abbott's declaration that the Uvalde shooting "could have been worse" — combined with the fact that a majority of Texans opposed overturning Roe — have likely weakened Abbott's stronghold.
- Yes, but: A lot of Texans blame Democrats for the recent spike in inflation.
By the numbers: Last month, a Quinnipiac poll showed Abbott had a five-point lead over O'Rourke. A new Dallas Morning News poll shows a similar margin, but 66% of voters polled also said the governor should call a special session to help curb mass shootings — which has become a cornerstone of O'Rourke's campaign.
- Former President Trump won Collin County with 51% of the vote in 2020.
- O'Rourke lost Collin County by around 6 percentage points in his 2018 U.S. Senate bid against Republican Ted Cruz.
The intrigue: O'Rourke's campaign has made a point of highlighting Republican-leaning voters who say they're planning to vote for him this year.
- Plus, few states will likely benefit from the new Inflation Reduction Act as much as Texas.
The bottom line: Oddsmakers still think Abbott is a heavy favorite, but it'll be closer than it looked like it would be even a few months ago.
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