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Beto O'Rourke on Abbott: He failed Texas in February, we can't let it happen again

Democratic candidate for Texas governor, Beto O'Rourke, spoke on hot topics in a one-on-one interview Wednesday - as a new poll shows him 15 points behind Abbott.

TEXAS, USA — In the race for Texas governor, a new poll shows Greg Abbott with a big lead over Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

The Quinnipiac University results revealed Wednesday show Abbott ahead by 15 points.

RELATED: Gov. Greg Abbott has wide lead in early poll over O'Rourke

The state’s power grid is at the center of this political throwdown.

"There are polls that show that we're tied, polls that show I'm a point ahead, polls that show I'm behind,” said O’Rourke in a one-on-one interview with KENS 5. "The only people who really matter at the end of the day are those who vote in the state of Texas."

In his first bid for Texas governor, Beto O'Rourke isn't fazed by early projections.

He's making the rounds across the state.

"We are going everywhere,” said O’Rourke. “I'm going to be Galveston. I was in Houston yesterday, Fort Bend."

A topic of focus on the campaign stops is the state's power grid, with winter just two weeks away.

O'Rourke wants changes not just to the power lines, but also to the fuel that supplies power plants.

RELATED: Texas power grid 'stronger and more reliable than ever,' ERCOT says. Is it ready for winter?

"If you do not weatherize the gas supply, it's like having a new truck without any gasoline in the tank,” said O’Rourke.

The El Paso native says if elected governor, he'll require natural gas companies to invest in winterizing their part of the grid.

"Ensure that the lights are on, the heat is running and the water is flowing,” he explained. “That's the least that you should be able to expect from your government. But even on that most basic level, the State of Texas Governor Abbott failed the people in February. We cannot let that happen again."

O’Rourke believes not enough work is being done at the state level to prepare and taxpayers are paying the price.

RELATED: Texas energy officials pledge 'the lights will stay on' this winter

"I don't think it is solely the incompetence on [Abbott’s] part. I think it has a lot to do with who he's taking money from,” said O’Rourke. “And to add insult to injury. We will all be paying higher electricity bills going forward for the next 10 years,"

In an interview with KENS 5 last week, Governor Abbott said 12 laws he's signed since the winter storm will ensure action will be taken to prevent a repeat of February.

"They have taken action items including making sure they have additional power available to make sure the ERCOT power system will remain stable and reliable throughout the entire winter,” said Abbott.

Another big topic in the governor's race: guns.

While campaigns against O'Rourke claim otherwise, he says he's in favor of legal and responsible ownership.

"I think there's a lot of common sense consensus on things like universal background checks and red extreme risk protection orders or red flag protections," said O'Rourke.

O'Rourke added that Governor Abbott's signing of the permitless carry bill is dangerous for Texas.

"Any criminal in Texas will be allowed to carry a loaded firearm in public. That's why police chiefs and sheriffs across the state urged the governor not to do this. It will make us less safe in our homes and on the streets," he said. "As governor, I'm going to make sure you protect the Second Amendment and that we have gun sense policies that also protect the lives of those around us."

In a tweet last week, Abbott said his opponent's message of "taking guns from Texans” isn't playing well.