DALLAS — They’ve been laying out their cases for months.
But as Election Day nears, closing arguments begin, and they’re likely to look a lot like evidence the candidates have already presented.
University of North Texas political scientist Kimi Lynn King believes Republicans will continue pressing a “law and order agenda.”
She expects them to talk more about border security, immigration, crime and fentanyl.
Gov. Greg Abbott has made fentanyl a major issue in his re-election campaign.
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He tied it directly to immigration policy at an event Wednesday with law enforcement agencies in Central Texas.
“There’s nothing stopping Joe Biden from putting an end to drug cartel activity in the state of Texas and the United States,” Abbott said.
King said Democrats will likely continue their focus on issues they hope will attract independent or moderate voters from both parties.
“So much of what drives people to the polls is the economy,” she said. “The Republicans are holding those cards right now so that [Democrats] are going to have to emphasize issues like abortion, like guns, like the grid.”
Challenger Beto O’Rourke might also continue to push the message that Texas has been run by Republicans for years.
So some of the issues they’re campaigning on – trouble at the border, an increase in crime – happened on their watch.
“Abbott has had eight years and for whatever reason he has not been able to get the job done on reducing property taxes or improving teacher pay at our schools or fixing the grid or reducing gun violence,” he recently told WFAA’s Jason Whitely.
Former President Donald Trump will rally with Texas Republicans on Saturday.
Abbott announced Tuesday that he will be out of state at a fundraiser in Florida so he will not appear at Trump’s rally, but Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton will speak there.
On Tuesday night, O’Rourke campaigned with Broadway legend Lin Manual Miranda in Houston.
Miranda fired up the crowd talking about abortion rights and voting rights.
“He shows up for us again and again, and you’re going to make him the next governor of Texas,” Miranda said.
King expects the rallies to get bigger and the ads to get “a lot uglier,” as we inch closer to Texas voters delivering a verdict.