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Beto O'Rourke gearing up to run for governor against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: report
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Beto O'Rourke gearing up to run for governor against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Report

Failed presidential candidate and former three-term Congressman Beto O'Rourke is reportedly setting his sights lower than the highest office in the land and is, instead, looking to fill the highest office in the state of Texas.

According to a Sunday Axios report, O'Rourke is prepping to run for governor of Texas in November 2022.

What are the details?

O'Rourke, according to the report, has been surveying political allies across the state to gauge whether he should run and will reportedly make a related announcement later this year.

O'Rourke former chief of staff David Wysong told the outlet that the former presidential candidate has yet to make an official decision.

"No decision has been made," he told the outlet. "[O'Rourke] has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."

The former congressman unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2018 against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, told the outlet that the party hopes O'Rourke will run.

"We think he'll be our strongest candidate," Hinojosa said. "We think he can beat Abbott, because he's vulnerable."

Abbott, Hinojosa continued, is failing Texans with his "prohibition against mask and vaccination mandates," which he said "have not gone over well" with residents.

"And with the abortion law, Republicans have raised the anger level of Texas women higher than anyone has ever seen before," he added.

What else?

In a hypothetical matchup, a recent poll from the the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler shows that O'Rourke narrowed the gap with Abbott to 37% to 42% after facing a 12-point deficit in July.

The poll also found that 54% of Texans surveyed believe that the state is "on the wrong track," and just 45% of those surveyed approve of Abbott's performance.

The poll — which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points — was conducted Sept. 7-14 and surveyed 1,148 registered voters.

“So many issues are on the table," pollster Mark Owens, a political scientist at UT-Tyler, said. “The collective attention of what the state is doing and leading the country on is not even confined to just one message."

The New York Post reported that Abbott has raised more than $55 million for his re-election bid.

A gubernatorial run could potentially pit O'Rourke against actor Matthew McConaughey, who has reportedly been mulling a run since March, the Post added. McConaughey has not announced whether he would run as Democrat, Republican, or independent if, indeed, he decided to run.

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