The Back MicThe Back Mic: Abbott Books $20 Million for Ads, Democratic Chair to Retire After Next Term, GOP Delegates Prefer Trump, DeSantis for 2024

This week — the Abbott campaign has purchased its first general election ad space, a Texas Democratic leader will retire after next term if he wins re-election, and Texas GOP delegates favor DeSantis as the non-Trump 2024 candidate.
July 1, 2022
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Abbott Campaign Buys $20 Million in Ad Space for November General

The Abbott campaign is getting its first television ad buys in line ahead of November, reserving about $20 million in programming space months out from the election.

An $8.8 million sum is the largest tranche that will reserve “prime ad slots in live sports programming and local news.”

“As I have crisscrossed the Lone Star State, I have seen the momentum building for a pro-freedom tidal wave this fall,” Abbott said in a statement. “This media buy will allow us to reach every corner of the state and speak directly to voters about the issues that matter most to them.”

A smaller sum is reserved specifically for a Hispanic voter outreach buy, worth $2.75 million in broadcast, cable, radio, and digital ad placement.

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“Republicans have made historic gains in Hispanic majority districts across the Lone Star State over the last year, and this media pre-buy is going to continue that momentum,” Abbott said, gesturing to the GOP’s focus on South Texas to build on its majority across the state. “From flipping blue seats now held by State Representative John Lujan and America’s first Mexican-born Congresswoman Mayra Flores to State Representative Ryan Guillen walking away from the Democrats, Hispanics in Texas have made their voices heard.”

On Wednesday, the campaign announced an $8.15 million digital ad purchase on top of the other two chunks of spending.

Abbott’s campaign has pledged to spend $100 million against Democrat Beto O’Rourke in an effort to “retire Robert Francis O’Rourke once and for all.”

Texas Democratic Party Chair Says Next Term Will be His Last

Gilberto Hinojosa, the decade-long chair of the Texas Democratic Party, says that should he win another two-year term at July’s convention, it will be his last.

He told Texas Monthly, “I’ve given ten years. This is hard. I spend so much time traveling the state, staying at hotels, going from one event to another, one meeting to another. I’m on the phone every day, hours at a time. But I’m going to give it one last time. We have to flip the state.”

Hinojosa took over in 2012 after Boyd Richie chose not to seek another term.

During his time heading the party, Democrats have gone from a 49-seat House minority to a 67-seat minority during the 2021 legislative session. Across the rotunda in the Senate, Democrats went from 11 seats to 13 in the 31-member body.

The most substantial gains Hinojosa’s party made came in the 2018 “Beto wave,” during which the Democrats flipped 12 House seats and two Senate seats.

Hinojosa is facing a two-headed challenge from Kim Olson and Carroll Robinson.

Texas GOP Convention Straw Poll Shows DeSantis High Atop Trump-Less 2024 Field

Among Republican Party of Texas delegates, one GOP official stands above all others in a potential 2024 presidential primary field without former President Donald Trump — and he resides in Tallahassee, Florida.

Outside of the former president, Sunshine State Gov. Ron DeSantis was far and away the most popular in the Texas GOP’s convention straw poll conducted in June.

Without Trump, the poll showed:

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis – 71%
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – 9%
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – 3%
  • Nikki Haley – 3%
  • Mike Pompeo – 2%
  • Gov. Kristi Noem – 2%
  • Mike Pence – 2%
  • Gov. Greg Abbott – 1%
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – 1%

The poll with Trump placed him at 54 percent among the delegates with DeSantis at 30 percent and everyone else clumped below 5 percent.

In both instances, Abbott, who has long been speculated to be mulling a presidential bid in 2024, fails to bring in more than 1 percent.

The poll sampled 2,701 delegates from June 16 to 17.

While the sample is not exactly representative of GOP primary voters writ large, its results resemble polling taken back in May which showed DeSantis in similar positions in both scenarios among likely Republican primary voters.

Even among their most hardcore GOP base, Texans Abbott and Cruz linger far behind the Florida governor — but both crack double digits in the poll of primary voters.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.