(NewsNation) — With elections soon approaching, political analysts say women will play a key role in deciding who becomes the next governor of Texas. Right now, preferences appear to be evenly split between the top two candidates.
Polling from the University of Texas at Tyler and the Dallas Morning News shows that 44% of women are supporting Gov. Greg Abbott, while 42% say they will cast their vote for Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.
With a race so close, where candidates stand on certain issues is critical. Messaging aimed at women has been hitting Texas airwaves after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
A poll from UT’s Texas Politics Project shows that 80% of Texans support some level of access to abortion for victims of incest or rape. Abbott has supported a total ban on abortion.
“Texas is a pro-life state, and the governor through his time has continued to promote policies that protect not only the life of the mother, but also the life of the child,” a spokesperson for Abbott told NewsNation affiliate KXAN. “As far as the issues that are facing our state, the ones that voters care about, abortion may be like a, you know, No. 10 issue. There are other issues that are more important to voters.”
Abortion rights has been a major part of O’Rourke’s campaign. Last month, he held a news conference on the day a Texas trigger law banning abortions took effect. He believes women should have more access to abortion.
“What we see in Texas today under Greg Abbott is an attack on women, on their health care, on their very lives and especially those at the lower end of the economic spectrum,” O’Rourke said.
He also released television ads, saying some women will die due to the restrictive Texas abortion law.
KXAN contributed to this report.