Abbott, O’Rourke campaigns for Texas governor credit door-knocking operations

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With five weeks until Election Day and three weeks until early voting begins in Texas, both Republican Governor Greg Abbott and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke credited their campaigns’ door-knocking operations.

O’Rourke told reporters Monday morning that his appearance at the University of North Texas in Denton started their final push to get out the vote.

“We’re activating more than 90,000 volunteers across the state of Texas who by the end of this will knock on five million doors across the state of Texas,” O’Rourke said. “This is how we’re going to win. We’re going to reach people where they are.”

Abbott’s campaign announced Monday afternoon that the two-term governor knocked on their three-millionth door in Harlingen Saturday, thanking his volunteers.

“I was proud to be in Harlingen this past weekend to commemorate yet another landmark moment in our campaign to secure the future of Texas,” Abbot said. “Because of you, Republicans’ winning message is being heard by Texans across the state and we are going to win in November.”

At UNT, O’Rourke urged more than 400 students to vote.

“36 days from when this contest is going to be decided, arguably the most important election in the United States of America today,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke told students talking to others is more powerful than a TV ad or a tweet, and he told reporters it’s crucial to his campaign.

“This is our moment of truth and I’m convinced these young people are going to be the margin of victory,” he said. “This is how we’re going to win.”

Isabella Arreola, a junior at UNT, said she just met O’Rourke and will vote for him, saying “I’m literally so excited.” She said she plans to talk to other students.

“Even if they’re not going to vote for who I want to vote for, it’s still important so that everyone has a voice, and that voting is so important,” Arreola said.

O’Rourke’s appearance comes after he butted heads with the governor over abortion, the border, and guns among other issues in their one and only debate Friday night.

Abbott is leading O’Rourke by eight percentage points among likely voters in the Real Clear Politics average of recent Texas polls.

Rebecca Deen, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of political science at UT Arlington said, “When you look at likely voters and at almost certain voters, they tend to skew more conservative and more Republican and the reason for that is historical data.”

She said that is often the case in non-presidential elections, and that O’Rourke must court new voters and those who are undecided.

“What O’Rourke has to do is to mobilize and energize the people maybe who haven’t decided to vote at all and then if they’re going to vote, to go and vote for him,” Deen said.

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