Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, 45%-40%, according to a new Univ. of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll. This is virtually unchanged from the June poll (45%-39%).
“Virtually unchanged” has been a theme of recent gubernatorial horse race polls’ topline results since May:
- Abbott +7: Univ. of Houston/Texas Southern Univ. (49%-42%) – Sept (RVs)
- Abbott +7: Dallas Morning News/Univ. of Texas at Tyler (46%-39%) – Aug (Likely Voters)
- Abbott +5: Univ. of Houston/Hobby School (47%-42%) – July (RVs)
- Abbott +8: CBS News (49%-41%) – June (Likely Voters)
- Abbott +6: Univ. of Texas/Texas Politics Project (45%-39%) – June (RVs)
- Abbott +5: Quinnipiac Univ. (48%-43%) – June (RVs)
- Abbott +6: Dallas Morning News/Univ. of Texas at Tyler (46%-39%) – May (RVs)
Abbott has led by at least five points in every poll going back to June 2021 except for a Texas Lyceum poll of RVs in March (+2) and a Rice Univ. poll of RVs last October (+1).
Abbott’s lead has grown typically by 3-5 points as the likelihood of voting has increased, according to the polls that break out results in this manner. The UT poll does not split this out, but 23% of respondents said they voted in “about half” elections “over the past two or three years” or less frequently (or they don’t know how often they voted). Conservatives have a five-point advantage over liberals among people who say they vote in “every election” (44%-39%), and “extremely conservative” voters have a 15-point advantage over “extremely liberal” voters (56%-41%). The extremes are more likely to say they vote in every election than every successive step away from the extremes:
- 56% of extremely conservative respondents vote in every election
- 43% of somewhat conservative respondents
- 32% of lean conservative respondents
- 28% of moderate respondents
- 37% of lean liberal respondents
- 39% of somewhat liberal respondents, and
- 41% of extremely liberal respondents.
Respondents aged 65 and older are more than twice as likely to say they vote in every election (52%) than respondents under 30 years old (24%). Abbott leads among the first group, 55%-39%, while O’Rourke leads among the youngest group of voters, 45%-28%.
Other notable topline results:
- Gov. Dan Patrick (R) leads Mike Collier by 7 (39%-32%)
- Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leads Rochelle Garza by 5 (38%-33%)
- Generic Republican congressional candidate leads by 4 (47%-43%)
- A roughly equal number of respondents have favorable opinions of Abbott, Patrick and Paxton as unfavorable opinions
- President Biden is on balance unpopular (38/53)
- O’Rourke (41/48) has roughly the same favorability rating as former President Trump (41/50)
- A majority of respondents do not want either Biden (59%) or Trump (57%) to run again
- Both major political parties have roughly the same favorability rating, but the Republican Party (41/47) is slightly less disfavored than the Democratic Party (39/49)
- Respondents are equally split on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, with 44% approving (33% strongly) and 44% disapproving (39% strongly).
The survey of 1,360 registered voters, drawn from an opt-in YouGov panel, was in the field August 26 to September 6. It has a stated margin of error of ±2.83%.
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