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Texas A&M political science professor breaks down Texas gubernatorial debate

One thing Professor Kirby Goidel said is that there wasn't a clear winner.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic candidate Beto O'rourke are in a tight race for governor, with a recent KVUE and Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll showing that O'Rourke is seven points behind Abbott.

One issue some voters are concerned about is abortion rights. The two candidates shared their views at the debate in Edinburg. 

“I will fight to make sure that every woman makes her own decisions about her own body, her own future, and her own health care. That's what most of us, Republicans and Democrats in this state, believe,” said O’Rourke. 

Abbott argued that they’re not forgetting about women. 

“They're going to know that the state, through our alternatives to abortion program, provides living assistance, baby supplies, all kinds of things that can help them,” said Abbott. 

Texas A&M political science professor Kirby Goidel said there wasn't a clear winner.

"If you sort of take the context of the race and say Abbott has the lead right now, and he can run the clock out, I think he's appealing to base Republican voters. Beto O'Rourke needs to do something a little bit different. He needs to appeal to independents and non-voters,” said Goidel.

Abbott and O'Rourke made it clear where they differ again. 

"On immigration, it's very clear that Abbott is going to be more aggressive on border issues. And Beto, somewhat, less so. On guns, Beto O'Rourke is going to be more aggressive on trying to limit guns, and especially limit things like AR-15s,” said Goidel.

The KVUE/THPF poll showed that following the Uvalde massacre, 48% of Hispanics viewed Abbott less favorably, and 32% viewed O'Rourke less favorably. O'Rourke has supported the idea of raising the age to buy assault weapons, and Abbott has said it's unconstitutional.

Watch the full interview with Professor Goidel here: 

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