More than four out of five Republicans believe Gov. Greg Abbott (R) “deserves to be re-elected,” and 85% of Republicans approve his job performance, according to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll. The findings indicate former Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) and potential challenger Allen West have two very high hills to climb: favorability and fundraising (Abbott entered the year with more than $40M on hand.).

Overall, Texas registered voters were almost evenly split on Abbott’s job performance, giving him a 48/46 rating. That overall balance belies a large gender gap. Abbott’s approval rating among men is 58/35 (+23) but he is underwater among women, 39/56 (-17). A smaller but still pronounced gender gap exists among Anglo men (67/27) and women (56/40). Abbott’s approval rating is net positive among voters in all age groups except registered voters under 35 (35/58).

That said, Abbott remains one of the most popular elected and unelected officials in the state. The poll found the following favorability ratings, ranked by percent of respondents having a favorable opinion:

  • Abbott 49/43
  • Matthew McConaughey 42/20
  • Beto O’Rourke 34/42
  • Gen. Ken Paxton 29/32
  • Land Comm. George P. Bush 26/27
  • Allen West 25/10
  • Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller 12/9
  • Eva Guzman 10/8
  • Huffines 8/8

McConaughey, an unknown politically, has roughly equal standing among Republicans (40/23), Democrats (42/20) and independents (47/17); men (45/21) and women (40/19); and Anglos with a 4-year college degree (44/24) and without one (43/23). Others are unknowns, generally. A higher percentage of respondents (38%) “haven’t heard enough” about Paxton to have an opinion than those with a favorable opinion (29%) or an unfavorable one (32%). Paxton’s rivals have even higher unknowns: Bush 46%, Guzman 81%, Lee Merritt (D) 85% and Joe Jaworski (D) 87%.

While nearly three out of five Republicans “haven’t heard enough” about West, the soon to be former state party chair, the remainder enthusiastically views him favorably (38/3).

Overall, President Biden’s job approval rating is 45/50, including a 42/52 rating among independents. Unsurprisingly, Biden’s “handling [of] the situation at the Mexican border” scores much lower: 29/64 overall and 25/67 among independents. Abbott fares much better here with a 47/46 rating overall and a 46/48 rating among independents. The poll was in the field around the time of Abbott’s announcement that the state would build its own wall along the border, a policy favored by 89% of Republicans and 46% of independents.

The poll of 1,099 registered voters was in the field June 15-21 and has a ±3.0% margin of error for the full sample.

AGRIC: Appearing on Chad Hasty’s radio show, Rep. James White (R-Hillister) hinted he may challenge Comm. Sid Miller (R). White, who is not seeking re-election, said he wanted to be in a position where he could “fight for and protect Texas agriculture.”

RRC: Comm. Wayne Christian (R) announced he would seek re-election.

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