(NewsNation) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke clashed over issues such as immigration, abortion and guns in a debate Friday night that yielded few fireworks from either candidate.
Abbott leads O’Rourke by 8% in polls, and O’Rourke hoped to use the only debate of their race to gain some ground on the incumbent.
But did anyone actually win the debate?
“If you were a Beto fan, you probably thought Beto won, and you’re probably right,” said NewsNation’s Leland Vittert. “If you are one of the 8% more people who plan to vote for Gov. Greg Abbott in the election, because he is plus-8, you probably didn’t find any reasons in the debate not to vote for him.”
The Hill political columnist Niall Stanage agreed O’Rourke probably had the better debate, but said he was not sure O’Rourke “landed the kind of knockout blow” he needed to during the debate to overcome Abbott’s lead in the polls.
“Gov. Abbott appears to have a steady lead in the polls, it is obviously a state that does lean Republican quite heavily, Democrats have hoped to make it competitive for years and haven’t quite succeeded in that,” Stanage said.