New Poll Shows that Supporting Gun Control is Not Helping Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke in Texas Gubernatorial Race

Being able to read the room and understand the political environment one is operating is crucial to political success. This is one thing that Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has learned the hard way. On September 12, 2019, during the Democratic Party Presidential Primary debate, he manifested his support for confiscating everyday rifles such as AR-15s. He even boldly proclaimed, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15 and AK-47.”

After making such an anti-gun remark, O’Rourke gave the pro-Second Amendment community a ton of attack material that played a critical role in scuttling his presidential ambitions in 2019. In addition, he tried to make a scene during a press conference that took place in the aftermath of the Uvalde school massacre where he tried to shame Texas Governor Greg Abbott. This incident was met with universal mockery and derision. 

Despite the negative reactions to his gun-grabbing actions, O’Rourke appears to be going back to his pro-civilian disarmament tendencies. The funny part is that O’Rourke’s anti-gun demogaguery is not helping him in his efforts to take the Governor’s Mansion in Texas. 

Per a new poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, Abbott possesses a 7-point lead over O’Rourke, which is a similar margin to what was observed in another poll back in May.   

Some notable points from this survey include Abbott’s handling of the economy, where 53% of voters favor it and 41% are against it.  Just 9% of voters failed Abbott or Texas elected officials for inflation. On the other hand, 48% blamed the rising costs of goods and services on the Biden regime. 

Only 9% blamed Abbott or Texas lawmakers for inflation, while 48% blamed higher costs for goods and services on President Joe Biden. However, the Dallas Morning News reported that “all is not rosy for Abbott, particularly when it comes to gun control, with 66% of voters saying the two-time incumbent should call a special session on curbing mass shootings.”

Some people might believe that using the gun control issue on the campaign trail might be beneficial for O’Rourke. Though, Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms argues otherwise:
 

“Could the gun issue be Abbott’s albatross?

Probably not. If it was going to be the secret sauce to invigorate O’Rourke’s campaign, we probably would have seen a bump in the Democrats’ direction in this poll. Instead, Abbott has maintained his 46-39 in the survey despite O’Rourke’s repeated attempts to make the response to Uvalde a centerpiece of his campaign. In fact, the news looks even worse for O’Rourke when it comes to likely voters, with Greg Abbott leading 51-41 over the gun-banning Democrat.”

Edwards expanded on some of the views Texans have towards gun control in the present. The rest of his piece can be read here.

Allow me to raise several points with regards to Texans’ hypothetical support for gun control. Americans are more concerned with the present state of the economy as opposed to the intricacies of gun policy. When people’s savings are getting eviscerated by inflation, gun control is not on the of people’s minds. Plus, with the 2020 “Summer of Love” riots that kicked off in the wake of George Floyd’s death, most Amercans learned first-hand about the value of the Second Amendment when the police did nothing to quell unrest or tackle crime. 

Also let’s set several things straight about polls. They’re often inaccurate and don’t necessarily translate well when it comes to predicting public policy outcomes. Thankfully, Texans live under a republican form of government where citizen lobbies can use asymmetric pressure to get elected officials to bend to their political will despite what public opinion says to the contrary. 

That is one of the benefits of citizen lobbying. It’s able to leap over the mob’s basest political desires and preserve liberty when the majority wants to destroy it. Texas gun owners must continue pushing the envelope by challenging federal gun control and repealing whatever gun control laws are still on the books. At the end of the day, the best defense is offense. 


José Niño is a freelance writer and political analyst based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter on political strategy here. Subscribe to his Substack here.

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