EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With less than 50 days until election day, candidates for Texas Governor, Governor Greg Abbott, and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke are gearing up for a debate next week.

Abbott is keeping his focus on immigration, due to the topic being what he has talked about most since running for re-election. Abbott’s other focuses include inflation and the statewide economy. Texas is seeing an influx of migrants at the border, with an average of 1,500 crossing into the El Paso sector daily as the election nears.

O’Rourke has kept his main focus on gun violence, abortion and the Texas electricity grid. According to the Editor of the Quorum Report, Scott Braddock, the lanes each candidate has taken are what works for the party lines.

“The kind of things that work for democrats right now tend to be the fight for abortion rights and the fight for some kind of gun retractions. For republicans right now they want to push all in on things like the economy, inflation and immigration, and border security.”

Editor of the Quorum Report, Scott Braddock

Braddock explains how both Abbott and O’Rourke try to avoid certain topics.

“Governor Abbott and Governor Ron DeSantis from Florida would both almost run from reporters, try to get away from reporters if they are asked about gun violence or abortion, and with Immigration with Beto O’Rourke, he does want to talk about it in a certain way but it’s not the first thing he wants to talk about because it doesn’t really provide a political advantage for him to be discussing it right now.”

Editor of the Quorum Report, Scott Braddock

El Paso political expert, Dr. Richard Pineda, said neither candidate is likely to sway voters when it comes to immigration.

“It’s very little that the governor will sway potential democratic voters to his perspective on immigration and in particular the very harsh policing that he is advocating for so far. And there is a little I think that former congressman O’Rourke is going to be able to say that is going to move republicans away to a position where there is a different perspective, especially on asylum seekers coming to the United States.”

Dr. Richard Pineda, Director for the Sam Donaldson Center for Communications Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso

However, he does believe that the data collected from the Texas elections are going to play a huge part in the national efforts for the next presidential race. Specifically how many Latino voters Governor Abbott can pull and if those numbers are different from his previous gubernatorial run.

“I do think Texas and in terms of how the republican party might be outreaching effectively to Latino voters I think is going to provide a lot of insight and data at the national level. So, I think in some ways there’s going to be a lot of eyes on Texas.”

Dr. Richard Pineda and Director for the Sam Donaldson Center for Communications Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso

The debate between Abbott and O’Rourke will air Friday, September 30 at 6 p.m. on KTSM 9 News.

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