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Texas governor primary polls: who is ahead Greg Abbott or Beto O’Rourke?

While current governor Greg Abbott leads the race in Texas, Beto O’Rourke continues to close the gap as the election nears.

Update:
While current governor Greg Abbott leads the race in Texas, Beto O’Rourke continues to close the gap as the election nears.
BloombergGetty

In light of the disaster at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the governor’s race in the Lone Star State has become much more competitive.

Incumbent governor Greg Abbott faces Democratic rising star Beto O’Rourke who has gone after the current administration for their mishandling of various tragic events in the state. From the 2021 Winter Storm that left more than 240 dead in the state as electricity was cut, to a wave of mass shootings that have occurred across the state, Abbott’s record over the last eight years is under attack.

Currently, according to FiveThirtyEight, Abbott leads by over nine points in the polls, but since February, O’Rourke has been able to tighten the race.

In early spring Abbott’s advantage hit its high of eleven points, but now, only a few months later, polls show Abbott holding onto a five to seven point advantage over his rival.

One poll conducted earlier this month by the University of Texas at Tyler found that Abbott was leading 46 to 39 percent. However, the pollsters did track a few conflicting opinions in their research that leave some questions about the state of the race open.

For example, while a majority of those contacted said they would vote for Abbott, who is seeking a third term, fifty-six percent believed that the state was headed in the wrong direction. One of the highest groups who see the state moving in the wrong direction were independent voters of which sixty-seven percent reported their opposition to current policies. In addition, the decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade may motivate voters without a party who disagree at an sweeping fifty-six percent of respondents disagreeing with the court’s decision.

Climate change and excessive heat are increasing concerns for Texans

This summer has been one of the hottest on record in Texas with many residents in the state experiencing excessive heat over 100 degrees for weeks on end. This has pushed the capacity of the state’s electrical grid to its maximum capacity with some even seeing outages as residents crack up their air conditioners.

Temperatures expected to rise rapidly in Texas over the next few decades

Energy demand and the ability of the grid to deliver will continue to be strained without major investments.

A new report from First Street Foundation predicts that Texas will see a significant increase in excessive heat over the next thirty years.

“While all areas of Texas will continue to see increases over the next 30 years, Aransas County will face the largest increase in their Local Hot Days between now and 2053. This year, Aransas County can expect a week at or above 107.6°F which will grow to 28 days 30 years from now,” reads the section on Texas.

Aransas County, found in south east Texas on the gulf-coast is home to around 23,830 people. Heat is an additional climate concern for residents who saw some of the highest levels of damage from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Aransas County, and a major section of east Texas, could see at least one day over 125 degrees each year by 2053, says the report.

The report also reports that the middle of the country “from Texas to Chicago in the Upper Midwest, […]  is at risk of the most extreme levels of heat exposure, temperatures exceeding 125°F heat index, forming an Extreme Heat Belt through the middle of the country.

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