Abbott touts Texas economy in his pitch to Hispanic voters

In the closing weeks of the campaign, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to focus on jobs and the border in his pitch to win over Hispanic voters.

During an appearance on FOX News, Abbott said believes he’s doing better with Hispanic voters this year because he’s talking about issues that are important to them.

“The policies that I’m running on are the policies that the Hispanic community supports,” Abbott told host Laura Ingraham during the live event at The Wortham Theater in Houston. “They believe in hard work, entrepreneurs and they want a state that creates jobs and a strong economy.”

He also talked about how he’s beefed up security by sending National Guard troops to the border and is spending money to build fences along the border. 

“They want a secure border,” Abbott said of Hispanic voters.

Ingraham showed a recent University of Texas poll that found Abbott and Democrat Beto O’Rourke tied in favorability ratings from Hispanic voters, 48 percent to 48 percent. Another poll by Quinnipiac University released this month showed O’Rourke up 49 percent to 48 percent with Hispanic voters.

Abbott has been promising to do better with Hispanic voters during his campaign after winning just 42 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2018 re-election against Lupe Valdez, according to exit polling at the time.

Republicans across Texas see an opening with Hispanic voters, given how much better former President Donald Trump did in counties along the Rio Grande than many expected in 2020. While he still lost key counties along the border, Trump did 10 percentage points or better than in 2016 in Cameron, Hidalgo and Webb counties — three of the most populous counties along the border.

To capitalize on that Abbott's doubled his spending on Spanish-language ads compared with his past campaigns and touts visiting the Rio Grande Valley more than any governor in Texas history.

O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, has also upped his Spanish-language outreach and campaigning in Hispanic neighborhood — at a rally last month at Settegast Park in Segundo Barrio in Houston, he spoke at length in Spanish about creating better-paying jobs and improving schools for the community.

Abbott isn’t the only one taking time to do interviews on national cable news shows. A day before Abbott was on FOX, O’Rourke went on MSNBC with host Joy Reid in a live show in Fort Worth, criticizing how Abbott has handled the state economy, saying under his watch property taxes and energy bills have skyrocketed, hurting the working class.

“There’s no one who has been worse for the Texas economy than Greg Abbott,” O’Rourke said.

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