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TX-Sen: GOP Gov. Greg Abbott rips Democrat Beto O'Rourke's 'cult-like' candidacy

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott described Democrat Beto O'Rourke's Senate candidacy as "cult-like" in a Fox News interview on Monday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott described Democrat Beto O'Rourke's Senate candidacy as "cult-like" in an interview with "Fox & Friends" Monday.

Abbott likened O'Rourke's popularity to that of Abbott's 2014 Democratic challenger Wendy Davis, noting that he won by about 20 points when voters took to the polls.

"The same thing is happening with Beto O'Rourke. Listen, he’s been a cult-like, very popular figure the way that he’s run the campaign, but you don’t vote on cult, you don’t vote on personality when you get to the U.S. Senate," Abbott said. "You vote on the issues."

O'Rourke, who is running against GOP incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, has gained national attention with his stance on the "Take a knee" national anthem controversy and recent TV appearances on talk shows, such as "The Ellen Degeneres Show." On Saturday, about 55,000 people gathered at Auditorium Shores in Austin for the Turn Out For Texas rally, watching O'Rourke sing "On the Road Again" with country music legend Willie Nelson. Money has poured into his campaign from all over the country.


What else did Abbott say?

Abbott said O'Rourke's positions on taxes and border control aren't consistent with most Texans.

"He's talking about wealth re-distribution through the imposition of more taxes, he's talking about open borders in this state, which most Texans are hostile to," Abbott told "Fox & Friends."

"Listen, they don't want the George Soros policies here in the state of Texas," he added.

What's the latest in the polls?

Recent polls show the race between Cruz and O'Rourke could be close.

The Cook Political Report, a non-partisan election forecaster, recently changed the Texas Senate race rating from "lean Republican" to "toss-up." In August, the race was changed from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican."

Still, in mid-September, Quinnipiac University showed Cruz widening the gap by 9 points over O'Rourke.

What about Abbott's race?

Abbott, who's up for re-election, has a strong lead over his Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez.

The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Abbott nearly 20 points ahead of Valdez.

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