KXAN Austin

Abbott lead over O’Rourke steady in new Texas poll

(The Hill) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has maintained a 7-point lead over Democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke in the Lone Star State’s governor’s race, new polling shows.

The Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll showed Abbott’s 46 percent to 39 percent lead over O’Rourke remained steady since May. 

Abbott pulled the bulk of his support from the state’s Republican constituents in the new survey, with more than three-quarters saying they “approve” or “strongly approve” of his handling of the governorship — compared to just 22 percent of Democrats. 

Eighty-five percent of Republicans say they’d vote for Abbott in the race for governor, while 81 percent of Democrats say they’d vote for O’Rourke. 

A slightly higher percentage of Democrats reported they’d cross party lines to back Abbott than Republicans who said they’d do the same for O’Rourke — 12 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Higher percentages of respondents said Abbott would do a better job than O’Rourke at handling crime reduction, border security, electrical grid management and the economy, though more respondents said O’Rourke would be better at “bringing people together” than Abbott.

In all, 47 percent of respondents said they approved of Abbott’s job performance and 49 percent disapproved. More than half of voters surveyed also said they thought Texas was “headed off on the wrong track” under its current leadership, at 56 percent, while 43 percent said it’s “headed in the right direction.”

At the same time, slightly more than half of the respondents — 53 percent — said they approved of Abbott’s management of the state’s economy

Fifty-one percent, meanwhile, said they approved of Abbott’s handling of immigration at the southern border. The Texas governor has made recent headlines for reportedly sending buses of migrants north from the U.S.-Mexico border to New York City and Washington, D.C., in protest of President Biden’s immigration policies.

Republicans in the new survey were most likely to attribute inflation and a higher cost of living in Texas to Biden and Congress, while Democrats evenly attributed the issue to Washington and to Abbott and Texas legislators and attributed it mostly to “supply problems.”

O’Rourke won the Texas Democratic primary in March and will face Abbott in the general election in November.

Conducted Aug. 1 to Aug. 7, the poll surveyed 1,384 registered voters, of which 33 percent reported being Democrats and 40 percent reported being Republics. Twenty-seven percent said they were affiliated with neither party. The margin of error was 2.8 percentage points.