Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is projected to win re-election and a third term, marking a sound defeat of perennial Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.
The race was projected for Abbott by DecisionDesk HQ at 10:23 p.m. on Tuesday evening.
Decision Desk HQ projects Greg Abbott (R) re-elected governor in Texas.#DecisionMade: 10:23pm EST
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) November 9, 2022
The governor’s latest victory follows a recent surge in polls, in which the governor led by 11 percentage points, according to a poll from the Texas Politics Project. He was first elected in 2014.
The governor’s strong emphasis on the state’s economy, as well as his strong pro-life platform and well-publicized fight to increase border security, stood out among issues of importance to voters.
Abbott gained nationwide attention in the months leading up to the election over his efforts to bus migrants entering Texas to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago. While opponents claimed the move was a publicity stunt, the move served as just one part of the governor’s Operation Lone Star plan to crack down on the Biden administration’s open border policies.
Just two weeks ahead of the election, the operation claimed success through apprehensions and the seizing of large amounts of fentanyl.
“Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 319,000 migrant apprehensions and more than 21,000 criminal arrests, with more than 18,700 felony charges reported,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 346 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.”
O’Rourke emphasized gun safety laws following the Uvalde school shooting in May, pushing a red flag law system and attacking the state’s permitless carry law. His campaign also largely supported the Biden administration’s border policies, a move that grew increasingly unpopular in the months leading up to the election.
The Texas Democrat also campaigned on increased abortion access.
“In addition to using every tool available to repeal Abbott’s dangerous abortion ban, I will veto any future legislation that seeks to further control women,” O’Rourke said on his campaign website.