Greg Abbott projected winner of Texas governor race

Texas 2022 midterm election

(NewsNation) — The extremely contentious Texas governor’s race has been called by NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ in favor of Greg Abbott.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott faced off against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke during his bid for reelection for the position he’s held since 2015. 

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Abbott made immigration at the southern border a central theme of his 2022 campaign, blaming President Joe Biden for an unprecedented surge of crossings. O’Rourke, during the only debate between the two candidates, said Abbott was treating migrants as “political pawns” by busing them to so-called “sanctuary cities” — liberal strongholds like New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago. Gov. Abbott’s office was reportedly also aware of the flight of migrants out of Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, coordinated by Gov. DeSantis.

The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, became a key issue for O’Rourke who criticized Abbott for his handling of the tragedy that rocked the state in May. O’Rourke said if he were voted into office, he would raise the minimum age of purchase of AR-15-style rifles to 21, institute universal background checks and create a red flag law

Texas is home to one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans, which doesn’t include exceptions for rape or incest. Abbott, during his campaign, defended the existing state laws and pushed his “Alternatives to Abortion” program which he said “provides living assistance, baby supplies, all kinds of things that can help (expectant or new mothers).” O’Rourke spent much of his campaign advocating for abortion access and said he will “fight to ensure that every woman in Texas can make her own decisions about her own body, her own future and her own healthcare.” 

O’Rourke, a former Congressman, rocketed to national fame during his 2018 Senate bid, though he failed to find support among the people he hoped to represent. Though a blue wave swept through Congress during the 2018 election, O’Rourke failed to upset incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, keeping Texas firmly red. 

While Democrats were hoping to flip the historically red state, a couple weeks before the election, Abbott held a firm, double-digit lead over O’Rourke in the polls. Issues that were of utmost importance to voters, according to the polls, include immigration and border control, abortion and the state economy. 

Texas is one of 36 states electing their top executive officials during the 2022 midterm elections. Before the election, there were 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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