AUSTIN (KXAN) — A recent poll shows half of Texans disapprove of how Gov. Greg Abbott is performing in his job right now, with a majority believing the state is “going in the wrong direction.”

The August 2021 poll, conducted by the Texas Politics Project, shows 50% of surveyed voters disapprove of Abbott’s actions and 41% approve. That’s the lowest job approval rating during his time in office, the Texas Politics Project reports.

Gov. Greg Abbott's job approval trend from November 2015 to August 2021 (Texas Politics Project at UT Austin)
Gov. Greg Abbott’s job approval trend from November 2015 to August 2021 (Texas Politics Project at UT Austin)

Additionally, the Texas Politics Project says its poll showed 52% of Texans believe the state is going in the wrong direction, which is the highest percentage recorded in that category since the polling project began in 2008.

The polling project also surveyed voters on how the state government is faring with the COVID-19 pandemic. Results found 49% of surveyed voters disapprove of Texas’ response to the pandemic, 39% approved and the rest were either neutral or didn’t know or have an opinion. The poll showed 53% specifically disapprove of how Abbott is handling the pandemic.

Mask mandates in particular are a point of contention in the pandemic currently, with Abbott’s executive order barring local officials and public schools from requiring face masks on campuses. Several school districts in Texas, including in Travis County, have decided to ignore the governor’s order, making masks mandatory for students and staff. These actions have placed some public schools in legal battles against the state.

The polling project says its recent poll shows 56% of surveyed Texans support requiring public school students and staff to wear masks on campus.

The poll surveyed 1,200 registered voters between Aug. 20 and Aug. 30. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points.