President Joe Biden suffered yet another blow over the weekend when Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke pointed a finger of blame at the commander in chief for helping accelerate the recent exodus of Latino voters toward the Republican Party, as Fox News reports.
Speaking Saturday at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, O'Rourke made reference to the startling success former President Donald Trump had in attracting Latino support in the 2020 contest, a political shift that appeared to continue with the Mexican-American Mayra Flores' victory this past June in a congressional special election, and he laid blame for those developments at least in part at Biden's feet.
"Candidate Biden didn't spend a dime or day in the Rio Grande Valley or really anywhere in Texas, for that matter, once we got down the homestretch of the general election," O'Rourke lamented.
"You got to be locking eyeballs with the people that you want to fight for and serve and whose votes that you want to win," the Democratic hopeful continued.
O'Rourke acknowledged that Trump had offered Latino voters a "very strong, compelling economic message" in the form of "literally one syllable one word, it was 'jobs... . What did we have on our side? Nothing.'"
Despite those insights, recent polling shows O'Rourke trailing incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott by a notable margin ahead of November, as the Texas Tribune noted.
During a discussion with Lawrence Wright of The New Yorker at the aforementioned Austin event, O'Rourke said he was taking polling results "with a grain of salt," adding that the only relevant poll is the one taken at the ballot boxes on Election Day.
The former congressman further asserted his belief that the outcome in November could easily be swayed by the heavy turnout from Texans frustrated by recently enacted limitations on abortion and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision overturning the landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade.
However, O'Rourke's reliance on abortion to propel him to the governor's mansion may be misplaced, given that a recent tracking poll conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund revealed that a near majority of Latino voters put inflation and increased cost of living as the issues most likely to dictate their choices at the polls come November, strong evidence that this year, it really is all about the economy -- as much as Biden and the Democrats might like to deny it.