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Aggies react to Abbott victory

Texas+Governor+Greg+Abbott+on+the+sideline+before+the+start+of+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Ole+Miss+at+Kyle+Field+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+29%2C+2022.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on the sideline before the start of Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss at Kyle Field on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

With over 98% of the votes in and Greg Abbott ahead of Beto O’Rourke by 11 points, the incumbent will hold his Texas governor seat for another term. With 59.7% of Brazos County reportedly voting for Abbott and 38.5% voting for O’Rourke, Texas A&M students shared their feelings about the gubernatorial election results.

Telecommunications media studies junior Dianne Word said she felt extreme fear and disappointment after the poll results came in.

“Texans are unwilling to vote blue even though it’s clearly voting for common interests and values,” Word said. “Republicans are voting for the party no matter the candidate. You should vote for the best candidate no matter what, not the party.”

Political science senior Blake Martin said he wasn’t surprised that Abbott came out victorious.

“Leading by 11 points was what I expected,” Martin said. “We saw a lot more voter turnout in south Texas than in previous years. I was impressed with the overall turnout.”

Texas Aggie Democrats President and political science senior Christopher Livaudais said he attributed Abbott’s victory to his popularity and Texas’ history of being a red state. Abbott is not Ted Cruz in terms of popularity.

“Abbott might be the most popular Republican in the state … Every election he’s run, he consistently outruns every other statewide Republican,” Livaudais said. “In addition to the year and Texas being a pretty red state and [Abbott] being one of the most popular figures, it was an uphill climb from the get-go. Greg Abbott is not Ted Cruz. That race came down to within two points because Ted Cruz is much less liked than Abbott is.”

O’Rourke formerly ran for U.S. Senate against Republican nominee Cruz but ultimately lost by a small margin. This was O’Rourke’s best chance of winning an election, Martin said.

“The best chance [O’Rourke] had was against Cruz because Cruz isn’t as popular as Abbott,” Martin said. “Cruz has more tension with the media. Abbott is more popular. [O’Rourke] was a new figure on that scale, that’s what happened and helped him out against a not-as-popular senator.”

Word said there wasn’t much more O’Rourke could’ve done to win because he went above and beyond for his campaign.

“I think Beto [O’Rourke] did everything he could do,” Word said. “I think he is a force against nature. That man traveled so much during the election cycle. He knocked on doors and spoke at universities. That’s what makes this so difficult because he did everything he could do and still lost. He did more than anyone thought that he would.”
Livaudais said there were issues at hand that he thought were going to be more significant among voters.

“I expected the power grid issue and winter storm to be a bigger deal,” Livaudais said. “I expected the mass shooting in Uvalde to be a bigger deal, but [Abbott] won Uvalde pretty big. It surprised me, especially given his comments — ‘As bad as this was, it could’ve been worse.’ I felt this was in pretty bad taste given it was the day after 19 children were killed. Even if it was true it could’ve been worse, that’s not what you say after a mass tragedy.”

Martin said he is optimistic and hopeful about Abbott addressing some of the voting issues brought up in the gubernatorial election.

“I hope that [Abbott] can decrease violent crime and secure the border more in Texas,” Martin said. “I hope he’ll make protecting schools a priority. Both [in the U.S.] House [of Representative] and Senate will be able to work with him on that.”

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