Texas (FOX 44) – The close race between Governor Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke is receiving attention across the nation.

Their one and only debate will be happening Friday on Fox 44.

He says the stakes are very high because the race has been so close and this is the only debate both men agreed to do.

The political editor for NewsNation, Chris Stirewalt, says with Governor Abbott putting his eggs in one basket with this debate, Beto O’Rourke is hoping it will change the trajectory of the race.

He sees Abbott talking about border security, high prices and crime, while O’Rourke focuses on school safety, gun control, and abortion.

Abortion being a topic he expects to change the electorate- targeting people who might not otherwise vote.

“Democrats in special elections around the country have seen huge surges in voter participation and voter interest around this issue,” O’Rourke. “And what O’Rourke needs to win is to have a different electorate than there was in Texas in 2010 because if you get the same electorate again, you probably get about the same results.”

He says Texas is a highly inelastic state with consistent republican leaders. But, Texas is getting younger and more democratic.

Although there hasn’t been a democratic Texas governor in nearly 30 years, he believes will happen whether that takes 10 years or it happens in November.

Stirewalt expects people across the nation to be watching because the border topic forms the undercurrent of the American political debate. So they want to see what Texans think about the issue.

Also, people are looking at these two as national leaders beyond what they’re doing in Texas after O’Rourke recently ran for president and Greg Abbott is expected to do so in 2024.