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Abbott’s Texas GOP Win Opens Culture-Clash Matchup With O’Rourke

  • Governor used abortion, transgender rights to motivate base
  • Abbott expected to defeat Democrat Beto O’Rourke in the fall
A voter enters a polling location during primary elections in Corpus Christi, Texas,  on March 1.

A voter enters a polling location during primary elections in Corpus Christi, Texas,  on March 1.

Photographer: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg

Texas Governor Greg Abbott fended off a primary challenge by shifting his focus to the culture wars on the edges of the Republican Party’s right wing, setting up a potential test of the GOP strategy nationwide.

His general-election opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, launched his campaign bid with attacks on Abbott’s governing competence, particularly his handling of last year’s winter storm when Texas’s power grid failed, as well as economic issues.