TEXAS - This Week in Texas Politics, there was an early curveball.
The publication of a leaked draft opinion regarding abortion from the U.S. Supreme Court became the top topic in the governor's race.
FOX 7 Austin's Rudy Koski and our panel of political analysts considered whether abortion will stay on the front campaign burner and how the week also ended with new fight over immigration.
KOSKI: Here we are in the LBJ penthouse to talk about another week in Texas politics. And one of the big issues, the Supreme Court draft opinion about abortion. It's now officially part of the governor's race. Greg Abbott has ramped up his fight on illegal immigration by taking on the issue of who should pay for the education of undocumented migrants. The Texas Bar is suing Ken Paxton again. This one is over his involvement in the previous presidential election vote count. We've had hearings on the foster care program and how it remains broken. And also a hearing on how we replace the fuel gas tax if more electric cars hit the road. Let's start things off now with Mark Wiggins and your headline for the week Mark.
WIGGINS: The Supreme Court in Chaos.
KOSKI: Steven Dial, your headline for the week.
DIAL: Texas steals the national spotlight again.
KOSKI: And Gromer Jeffers, your headline for the week.
JEFFERS: Yeah. The Supreme Court is in chaos. But other culture war issues continue to fracture the nation as the 22 elections loom.
KOSKI: Mark. Talking about the abortion issue, does that make the governor's race a one issue race?
WIGGINS: You know, this is an issue where the polling is on Beto's side, Rudy. 78% of Texans believe there should be some sort of an allowance. But it really all depends on how Beto messages around the issue.
DIAL: I don't think people are going the majority of Texas voters are going to go to the polls in November thinking about abortion in Texas.
JEFFERS: What O'Rourke, I think, needs to understand is that while the Democratic Party, you know, supports abortion rights and empowering women to choose, there are segments of the party that, while they support, that are not too crazy about it. So, you know, black evangelicals, some Hispanic voters, it won't, they're not as motivated as others to make this in an election year issue.
WIGGINS: I think the real challenge for Democrats in this election is when we're talking about the economy and there being a sort of an enthusiasm gap and Democrats who are not super excited about going to the polls during this midterm election. And does this issue sort of evened out somewhat? Does it energize some of the disaffected partizans?
JEFFERS: I think historically this issue has not been the winner that Democrats hope that has been. But maybe this year is a different.
DIAL: One. I think the timing of when and if Roe v Wade is eventually struck down will play a vital role. If that if it comes down officially, let's say, late summer or, that might provide more energy for a Beto heading into the fall. So that timing could help him. But I still don't think enough pissed off people. Enough people who are pro-choice in some form or fashion will balance out this swell that you have of people that are solely focused on the border, solely focused on why are my gas prices too high?
KOSKI: Governor Greg Abbott seems to be, continue to be focused on illegal immigration. He is now ramping up and trying to get the federal government to pay for undocumented migrant children in schools, changing a longstanding court ruling and something that former Governor Rick Perry actually supported. Steven, you reported on this. What's your take?
DIAL: Basically, the governor is saying the federal government can't have it both ways. He says the Supreme Court says that states can't enforce immigration law, but they also have to provide education.
WIGGINS: Republicans are seeing an opening here that they have a court that appears ready to overturn prior precedent no matter how longstanding or foundational. And you're going to see this in issue after issue.
JEFFERS: What's alarming here is that you're right. Somebody should pay for it. And it's important that somebody steps up and pay for it because of what Steven just said. The alternative is to not educate these kids and to have them tossed in to potentially in the gangs and poverty and things like that.
WIGGINS: Rudy, I would just point out from a technical standpoint, undocumented children are funded the same way that really any other child in the public school system is funded.
DIAL: It's important for the viewers to know that it would have to start in the legislature and make its way through the normal process of something going up and making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
KOSKI: And with that, let's wrap up this week in Texas politics with our one word. Mark Wiggins, we'll start with you. You're one word for the week.
KOSKI: Gromer Jeffers, your one word for the week.
KOSKI: And Steven Dial, your one word for the week?
KOSKI: And with that, we're wrapping up another week in Texas politics.