SAN ANTONIO — Gov. Greg Abbott could achieve a significant feat in November by winning re-election and securing the Hispanic male vote.
Republicans have pushed hard to sway Latino voters, particularly in southern Texas. The party is making a long-term play to ingratiate itself with a fast-growing demographic.
Republicans have organized countless voter drives and opened a handful of Hispanic outreach centers, including in San Antonio.
A new poll, commissioned by KENS 5, her Texas sister stations, and the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, projects Abbott will defeat Beto O'Rourke, 51-44.
Abbott is not likely to win the overall Hispanic vote. O'Rourke is more popular with Latino poll respondents, who prefer him over Abbott, 53-39.
"For Abbott, a victory within the Latino community is winning between 40 and 45 percent of the Latino vote and being able to claim victory among Latino men," said Mark P. Jones, director of research and analytics at the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation.
Hispanic men who are likely to vote prefer O'Rourke, 50-44. But pollsters found that Hispanic men who are almost certain to vote prefer Abbott, 49-48.
Any shift in Hispanic male voting habits could prove beneficial for Republicans in hotly-contested, down-ballot races. San Antonio hosts some of the state's most competitive congressional and state legislative districts.
Hispanic voters prefer Mike Collier to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, 50-36. Hispanic voters also prefer Rochelle Garza to attorney general Ken Paxton, 50-40.
A handful of Republican lawmakers and county judges have endorsed Collier, but the politicians crossing party lines to support the Democrat are not well-known statewide.
The national Democratic Party is not likely to inject significant cash into any statewide races, Jones says, meaning Texas Democrats are mostly left to fend for themselves.
Election day is Nov. 8.