ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - At UT Arlington Wednesday, Democrat Beto O'Rourke praised students for registering to vote and urged them to make their voices heard at the ballot box in November, just as he said students across Texas did four years ago.
He told the large crowd in Brazos Park, "Young voter turnout in that election was up 504% from the previous midterm election."
Analysts say O'Rourke will need help from students like these if he wants to change what poll results show.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of 1,327 likely voters gives two-term incumbent Republican Greg Abbott with a seven percentage point lead over O'Rourke, 53% to 46%.
That is similar to other recent polls.
96% say they've made up their minds, while 3% said they could still change their minds.
Analysts say in Texas, there are more Republicans than Democrats and that the more likely voters are older and more conservative.
During questioning after the rally, CBS 11 asked O'Rourke how important his college tour across Texas and voter turnout operation are to the success of his campaign.
"In 2018, I became the first Democrat to win Tarrant County since 1994 and we did it with young people like those who are here at UT Arlington right now," O'Rourke said. "They were on no one's radar; they were reflected in no one's poll. They came out and shocked this state."
O'Rourke's visit to UT Arlington comes two days before he tries to knock Governor Abbott off his political game during their one and only debate.
He said, "This is probably going to be the only chance for voters in Texas to see a direct contrast between Greg Abbott and his eight years of failure as our Governor and the opportunity which this campaign represents."
In response, Governor Abbott's campaign Press Secretary said in part, "The contrast in this race couldn't be clearer. More Texans are working today than ever before. Governor Abbott is running for re-election to secure the future of Texas through increased job creation and economic opportunity for all Texans..."
After Friday evening's debate, O'Rourke will continue his College Tour with stops in Denton and Dallas on Monday.
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