On Sunday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott made it official, endorsing former President Donald Trump for another term. The Governor made the initial announcement on X (formerly Twitter).
Today, I am proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for President.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 19, 2023
Now more than ever, America needs a President who will secure the border and prioritize national security.
President Trump is the clear choice to get the job done. pic.twitter.com/gvM7sQH41Q
The announcement comes as Trump met with the Texas governor in Edinburg, where Abbott was scheduled to serve a meal to Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas National Guardsmen.
The visit is intended to spotlight the combustible issue of illegal immigration and border security.
The border has been a major issue for Republican voters and GOP leaders and politicians for two and a half years, leading to harsh criticism of President Biden’s administration’s handling of the crisis and a surge in border crossings by migrants.
Trump pledged to launch the largest mass deportation effort in American history if he is re-elected and would reinstate travel bans and his 2019 "Remain in Mexico" program, which forced non-Mexican asylum seekers aiming to enter the U.S. at the southern border to wait in Mexico for the resolution of their cases.
The endorsement comes on the heels of several significant (although mostly not final) legal wins for the Trump campaign. Also, Donald Trump has gained some other key endorsements recently, including from our own Alaska Governor Dunleavy.
Trump's reasons for visiting the border are clear, as is the reason for Governor Abbott's endorsement; not only was stemming the tide of illegal immigration a keynote of his first term, at which he was only partially successful (for instance, the wall was not completed) but even so, illegal border crossings were lower during the Trump Administration than they are now, with the Biden Administration largely ignoring the issue. This is sure to be a key campaign issue in the 2024 general election and in Texas in particular, as the Lone Star State has borne much of the brunt of the illegal border crossings. If current polling on the topic of illegal immigration is to be believed, this could prove a major booster for the Trump campaign and the GOP.
In his endorsement, Abbott made no mention of Trump's legal issues, which don't seem to be hurting his campaign.
Trump’s lead expanded over the spring and summer as he made history as the first former or current president in American history to be indicted for a crime. Trump's four indictments – including in federal court in Washington D.C. and in Fulton County court in Georgia on charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss – have fueled his support among Republican voters.
The first primary elections begin in January, with Iowa and New Hampshire. Texas, along with 29 other states and territories, holds its primaries and caucuses on March 5th, "Super Tuesday," after which the primary may well be decided if current trends continue. As for those current trends, former President Trump remains far ahead of the other GOP candidates in the RealClearPolitics average of polling, which admittedly means little at this point in the cycle.