Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke is campaigning to be the next governor of Texas. So, when an announcement that celebrity couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are holding a fundraiser at their home in the West Village in New York City came out Thursday, it landed with a thud. Just a man of the people, that Beto.

There are lots of co-hosts listed on the invitation for the shindig. I guess I’m supposed to know who they all are but the only name I recognize is that of Andy Cohen. Cohen works for Bravo TV/NBC and is probably best known for bringing the Real Housewives of various cities to television and celebrating New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper on CNN each year. I guess the others are fundraisers for progressive candidates.

The invitation has September 21 as the date of the event. Sponsorships cost $5,000 and tickets for co-hosts cost $10,000.

A new poll has Governor Abbott up over O’Rourke by 5 points. Democrats are all abuzz. This time they will turn Texas blue, they say. It is a sign of changing demographics in Texas that it has become a purplish state, though still a solid red state in statewide offices. Abbott has been governor since he first won in 2015.

Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, a liberal-leaning poll, shows a five-point difference between the two candidates. It used registered voters, not likely voters, which is less reliable in its results. Abbott’s single-digit lead tracks with other statewide campaigns.

The survey found that Abbott received 45% of support among registered voters, while 40% supported O’Rourke and 4% supported third-party candidates. Three percent of respondents named “Someone else” as their choice, and 8% said they have not thought about the race enough to have an opinion.

The latest survey also gave Republican incumbents single-digit leads in two other statewide races. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick led Democrat Mike Collier by 7 points, and Attorney General Ken Paxton registered a 5-point advantage over Democrat Rochelle Garza. More voters remain undecided in those contests than in the gubernatorial election — 20% in the lieutenant governor’s race and 21% in the attorney general one.

The result is almost identical to the margin from when the pollsters last surveyed the race in June, finding Abbott ahead of O’Rourke 45% to 39%.

Note the last point – the results are almost identical to those from June. That is as other polls have found. The gubernatorial race has been very steady, with O’Rourke failing to move ahead of Abbott and clearly not gaining new ground as we approach November. Maybe one more out-of-state fundraiser will do it, right? O’Rourke sure isn’t going to move any conservative voters his way just because the Sex and the City actress gave him a fundraiser. As a matter of fact, Abbott’s approval rating inched up a little from the June poll. In this poll, 46% approve of Abbott’s job performance while 44% disapprove. In the June poll he was upside down, with 43% approval and 46% disapproval.

This will be Abbott’s third term as governor. He’s never been overwhelmingly popular but has maintained solid support from the majority of conservative voters. The fact is, Texas is as divided as the rest of the country. With more people moving into the state, Republican candidates have to work harder than just a cycle or two ago. Republicans have controlled all statewide offices since 1994.

O’Rourke and Democrats are pinning their hopes on the abortion issue but it doesn’t look like abortion will overshadow other issues like border security and the economy. Those issues are popular with Abbott voters.

When it comes to issues, the poll showed voters continue to prioritize the border. “Immigration/border security” led the list of issues that voters said were most most important to their vote in the election, with 26% choosing it. It was followed by the state economy (13%), abortion (12%) and gun violence (11%).

Voters said they trusted Abbott more on the border and economy and O’Rourke more on abortion. They were equally divided on who had the advantage on gun violence.

It is also bad news that O’Rourke isn’t winning the “gun violence” issue. He’s done everything but stand on his head while he’s taken a hyper-opportunistic approach to mass shootings and the spike in violent crime. Who can forget O’Rourke crashing the press conference in Uvalde with the governor and other state officials where he accused Abbott of having blood on his hands?

O’Rourke deserves to lose this race. So far it continues to look as though he will.

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