Beto O’Rourke’s odds of winning Texas governor’s race after Uvalde shooting

Former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s chances of winning the Texas governor race later this year remain slim despite the Democrat’s recent high-profile row with Gov. Greg Abbott over gun control.

O’Rourke has slammed the Republican governor and his fellow GOP members after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers.

In deep red Texas, however, Abbott still enjoys a huge advantage, the bookmakers said news week that the incumbent governor’s chances were still better than those of his Democratic challenger.

Betfair, which operates the world’s largest online betting market, gave the Republicans odds of 1/7 to win the 2022 governor’s race, while the Democrats were odds at 9/2 and the bookies odds of 33/1 for everyone else candidates offered.

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power gave O’Rourke odds of 4/1 to win the race and Abbott’s odds were 1/7, which can be seen as a good sign for the governor who is seeking a third term.

“We haven’t seen any major changes in the last week because opinions in Texas are pretty much settled along party lines at this point,” a Paddy Power spokesman said news week.

Political betting is illegal in the US but is common in the UK, Ireland and other jurisdictions. The current odds for the gubernatorial race seem to point to an uphill battle for O’Rourke.

Recent polls also seem to point to a difficult road to victory for the Democrat. A poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, published May 15, found Abbott supported 46 percent and O’Rourke 39 percent.

O’Rourke has accused Abbott of inaction on gun violence and recently interrupted a press conference the governor was giving with other Republican officials in Uvalde, accusing Abbott of “doing nothing”.

He later told reporters that some solutions to gun violence would include banning the sale of AR-15s, red flag laws, and universal background checks. The alleged shooter of Uvalde, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, had reportedly bought two AR-15 style rifles for his 18th birthday.

It remains to be seen if the tragic shooting will have a major impact on the gubernatorial race, but Abbott faced criticism in the wake of the killings.

The governor caused controversy when he briefly attended a fundraiser on Tuesday after being briefed on the shooting and decided to cancel an in-person appearance at a National Rifle Association (NRA) event in Houston on Friday amid criticism from O ‘To cancel Rourke and others.

Abbott said at a news conference in Uvalde on Friday that he was “misled” about law enforcement’s response to the shooting and said he was “angry” at being misinformed.

He had initially praised the police response, but there was anger and criticism over conflicting information from authorities and the police’s apparent failure to enter the classroom where the gunman hid for more than 40 minutes.

However, a Democrat has not been elected governor of Texas for more than 30 years, and the odds are currently not in O’Rourke’s favor.

O’Rourke narrowly lost to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in the 2018 US Senate election in Texas.

Beto O'Rourke speaks to the press
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks to the media after interrupting a news conference by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. O’Rourke has strongly criticized Abbott’s approach to gun control.
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images Beto O’Rourke’s odds of winning Texas governor’s race after Uvalde shooting

Rick Schindler

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