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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Why students are voting for Abbott

Beto+vs.+Abbott
Photo by Graphic by Cameron Johnson
Beto vs. Abbott

Texas A&M students list why they are voting for incumbent Greg Abbott for Texas governor over former Democratic representative Beto O’Rourke in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Abbott is running on the platform of securing the border, and securing the future for Texas taxpayers, seniors and parents per his website.

Political science senior Blake Martin said he favors Abbott because of their shared values and Abbott’s previous experience in office as attorney general before serving as state governor.

“He is somebody who cares about the issues I care about,” Martin said. “In regards to abortion, he is Catholic and very pro-life. He has signed bills into law previously before Roe v. Wade was overturned. He signed the ‘heartbeat bill’ into law.  That is something I very much support. Everything, with the exception of the life of the mother coming into consideration, I think we should ban abortions.”

Public health senior Greg Salazar said the most important voting issues to him in this upcoming election are abortion, immigration and education. Like Martin, Salazar said he also held values similar to Abbott’s policies as current Texas governor.

“I was a big proponent of the ‘heartbeat bill.’” Salazar said. “[Abbott] has another response to the lack of government oversight over the border, Operation Lone Star, basically sending resources to the border.” 

Accounting sophomore Jacob Brewer said he will also vote for Abbott on Election Day because of the actions he has taken as Texas governor.

“It’s Greg Abbott versus Beto O’Rourke,” Brewer said. “I think about what’s going on at the southern border with the record [number] of crossings. Greg Abbott has already raised awareness toward the issue and is doing something about it.”

All three Aggies also brought up rising inflation and the resulting blow to the U.S. economy. Martin said inflation is a prevalent voting issue that hurts college students.

“Inflation is rising, which is going to hurt you coming out of college, and already does hurt you as a college student,” Martin said. “That is primarily driven by people similar to Beto O’Rourke, who have pushed for those same policies we see on the federal level by Democrats like printing off more money and raising taxes. If the Democrats were to take power in Texas, like [candidate] O’Rourke, you’d see a state income tax being pushed, which we don’t currently have in Texas.” 

It is no coincidence that Americans are starting to move to Texas, Brewer said.

“There’s got to be a reason that all the people from California are moving to Texas under the leadership of Gov. Greg Abbott,” Brewer said. “It’s because the economy in Texas is doing a lot better than other places.”

The Abbott-supporting Aggies said they recognize that many college students will be voting for the first time. Salazar said he wanted students to recognize a few things before choosing who to vote for.

“First, before you look at the world and the news coming at your face, because it comes really quick, what are your values?” Salazar said. “What are your beliefs? And apply those values to the candidates. Don’t get your news from one source. People look at Twitter all the time, and that’s really headline news, what is going to get more clicks and spark an emotional reaction?”

Martin said he advises those who are undecided about their political position to think about their future safety, as well as their family’s safety, when assessing the governor candidates. 

“It’s important not to look for just the future of yourself, but your family [as well],” Martin said. “You want to grow up in a state where, no matter what race you are or ideology you have, is a safe society. You want to have a society where you and your family can live in peace. You deserve that. You need to ask these candidates, ‘Where is your record on these issues?’ and, ‘How would you run the state?’” 

Texas hasn’t had a Democratic governor since Anne Richards over 25 years ago. Martin said the growing trend of Latinos voting for Republican nominees will keep Texas red.

“I feel like the shift among Latino voters in South Texas has shown a trend to conservative values,” Martin said. “A lot of Latino voters are mostly Catholic and care about family issues like abortion and gun rights. I think as long as that shift continues to happen, Texas remains a red state.” 

The gubernatorial election will begin Oct. 24, with the last day to vote on Nov. 8.  As of Oct. 12, Abbott currently holds a four-point lead over O’Rourke among registered voters, according to Marist Poll.

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