Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, 47%-38%, among registered voters, according to a new Dallas Morning News/Univ. of Texas at Tyler poll. His lead increases slightly to 50%-39% among respondents “certain or probably” voting. These are the largest Abbott leads found by recent polls, but only by a point or two.

Those choices are locked in for more than nine out of 10 people currently supporting a candidate. Among Abbott’s supporters, 79% are “certain” they will not change their mind while another 16% “probably will not.” For O’Rourke, those numbers are 73% and 19%.

Another 6% of “certain or probably” respondents were evenly split among Mark Tippetts (L) and Delilah Barrios (G) – both figures above historical percentages of voters who cast ballots for minor party candidates.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) leads Democratic challenger Mike Collier, 39%-28%, among registered voters and 41%-29% among “certain or probably” voters. Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leads Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza, 37%-30%, among registered voters and 39%-31% among “certain or probably” voters. More than one in six “certain or probably” respondents said they are “not sure” who they will vote for in the race.

Other notable data points include:

  • Independents are slightly more pessimistic about whether the state is headed in the right direction (33/64) than Democrats (37/62).
  • Hispanics/Latinos (45/53) and Whites (46/53) have equal opinions about whether the state is headed in the right direction.
  • Hispanics/Latinos are slightly more pessimistic of Abbott’s job performance (45/50) as they are President Biden’s (48/47). White respondents are quite clear in their preference between Abbott (59/39) and Biden (28/70).
  • Independents are less pessimistic about Abbott’s job performance (37/59) as they are President Biden’s (32/60). And they feel about the same about former President Trump (30/61).
  • Independents are also sour on Patrick (25/48) and Paxton’s (28/49) job performances.
  • Overall, respondents are evenly split on whether they approve or disapprove of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade (46/46), but independents (35/54) and women (39/51) were more disapproving.
  • Hispanics/Latinos (39/45) and independents (24/57) were generally disapproving of Biden’s “handling immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.” Abbott was viewed slightly better by both groups, 46/43 and 37/47, respectively.

The poll of 1,268 registered voters was conducted online and by phone and was in the field September 6 and 13. The stated margin of error for the full sample was ±2.8%.

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