Texas has a two-step primary system: Any candidate who finishes below 50 percent will face the No. 2 vote-catcher in a runoff election in May.
Abbott seems to be leaving nothing to chance, spending $15 million in the past month alone and trying to leave little light for his conservative opponents as he has overseen a sharp push to the far right in the state government.
Yet Mr. Abbott, who has Mr Trump’s backing, was booed at a Trump rally north of Houston in January, only winning the crowd over by using the president’s name more than two dozen times. in his six-minute speech.
“I think Greg Abbott has been there long enough,” said Anita Brown, 62, who recently attended a meeting for a right-wing House candidate in The Woodlands, a suburban enclave north of Houston. “I’d just love to have someone new.”
Texas is where Mr. Trump suffered one of his rare primary approval defeats last year, in a House race, and although he has issued a range of approvals, from governor to Tarrant County District Attorney, he has mainly established officials and big favorites.
Later in the spring and summer, during the Senate games in North Carolina and Alabama, and in the Georgia governor’s race, there are greater tests of his influence. In that Georgia race, Mr. Trump recruited David Perdue, a former senator and governor, to try to overthrow Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican who refused to bow to Mr. Trump’s efforts to topple the 2020 election. to bring.
In Texas, Mr. Paxton, a regular on Fox News, orders Mr Trump’s endorsement but remains vulnerable due to his legal troubles: In addition to corruption charges by his aides, the Texas Attorney General has been charged with securities fraud since 2015 .