Early voting by personal appearance begins tomorrow (Mon.) for the November 8 general election.

GOV (Likely R): Three newly released polls have very different views of the governor’s race. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, 54%-43%, according to the latest Univ. of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll. Civiqs finds Abbott leading O’Rourke, 52%-44%. A new Beacon Research poll conducted for the Democratic Policy Institute finds Abbott leading O’Rourke, 46%-44%, which is within its margin of error.

Abbott has consistently led by high single digits in nearly every recent poll. The current UT/TPP poll shows the largest lead for Abbott since the April UT/TPP poll, in which he led 48%-37% (An outlier poll in June had Abbott up 18 points.).

  • UT/TTP: Abbott leads O’Rourke, 60%-29%, among independents; 64%-32% among White voters; 61%-39% among voters aged 65 and older; and 59%-38% among men. Hispanics/Latinos are evenly split, 48%-48%, and Abbott has a slight lead among women, 49%-47%. O’Rourke leads 86%-11% among Black voters, 51%-43% among voters under 30 and 50%-43% among voters aged 30-44.
  • Civiqs: Abbott leads 48%-44% among independents, 61%-36% among White voters, 61%-38% among voters aged 65 and older and 60%-37% among men. O’Rourke has a slight 48%-46% lead among Hispanics/Latinos and 50%-47% among women. O’Rourke leads 80%-20% among Black voters, 50%-41% among voters under 35. Abbott leads, 53%-44%, among voters aged 35 to 49.
  • Beacon: Crosstabs were not provided, and the polling memo does not provide much information beyond independents favoring O’Rourke, 47%-41%. So, we cannot evaluate how their splits differed from the other two polls.

As noted above, the Beacon poll was conducted for, and released by, the Democratic Policy Institute.

Only UT/TPP polled other statewide races. It found:

  • Gov. Dan Patrick (R) leads Mike Collier (D), 51%-36%
  • Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leads Rochelle Garza (D), 51%-37%
  • Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R) leads Janet Dudding (D), 47%-35%
  • Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R) leads Susan Hays (D), 51%-39%; and
  • Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) leads Jay Kleberg (D), 47%-35%, for LAND open.

Minor party candidates and “someone else” tended to get more support as familiarity with the candidates decreased.

AG (Lean R): A new poll conducted for the Democratic Attorneys General Assoc. shows Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leading Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza, 48%-46%. Libertarian Mark Ash receives the other 6% in the poll, which would be an unusually high number for a race with two major party candidates.

The one-page polling memo doesn’t say much else. The poll of 879 registered voters was in the field October 12-16 and was conducted with live calls to mobile phones and landlines, SMS texting and an online panel. Its stated margin of error is ±3.24%, which means the candidates are within the margin of error of each other. The sample was “weighted to reflect a likely 2022 Texas general electorate,” but no details were provided as to their assumptions about the electorate.

Polls have shown this to be among the closest of the statewide races, which in part is why we rate it Lean R instead of the Likely R attached to every other state race except LTGOV (Lean R), and it is unsurprising a poll commissioned for and released by a Democratic organization would show the race as closer than other polls, though within their respective margins of error.

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