Early voting is underway for the November 8 general election.

Harris Co. reported nearly 61K people voted in person today (Mon.), down slightly from the first day of 2018. The number of mail ballots returned is also down by around 9K. Bexar Co. reported 32K people voted today, a slight increase from the first day in 2018. Lubbock Co. reported nearly 6K people voted today, down 38% from the first day in 2018, but the weather may have been a factor.

GOV (Likely R): Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke by 10 points, 52%-42%, according to a new Emerson College poll conducted for The Hill, and by 9 points, 52%-43%, according to a new Siena College Poll conducted for Spectrum News.

  • Independents: Abbott 50%-38% (Emerson), Abbott 49%-44% (Siena)
  • Men: Abbott 59%-36% (Emerson), Abbott 58%-37% (Siena)
  • Women: O’Rourke 48%-45% (Emerson), O’Rourke 51%-45% (Siena)
  • Whites: Abbott 63%-32% (Emerson), Abbott 63%-33% (Siena)
  • Hispanics/Latinos: O’Rourke 50%-43% (Emerson), O’Rourke 51%-42% (Siena)
  • Young voters: O’Rourke 45%-39% (Emerson, 18-34), O’Rourke 50%-45% (Siena, 18-49)
  • Seniors: Abbott 53%-42% (Emerson, 65+), Abbott 60%-36% (Siena, 65+)

The Emerson poll found the gender gap applied to President Biden’s approval rating. He was underwater for both, but much more so for men (33/63) than women (45/49). A similar gap applied to Abbott’s rating except he fared better among men (60/37, 40/27 “very”) than women (50/46, 31/41 “very”). And so too with O’Rourke with men (37/59, 23/55 “very”) and women (51/44, 38/39 “very”).

An interesting aspect of these numbers is the relative proportion to “very unfavorable” compared to “somewhat unfavorable.” Just 4% of respondents had a somewhat unfavorable view of O’Rourke, and just 7% viewed Abbott somewhat unfavorably.

Combined with measures of how certain voters are in their choices found in other recent polls, these polls continue to add to the narrative that north of 90% of voters are locked into choices made months ago, driven by purely partisan leanings.

LTGOV (Lean R): The Emerson poll found Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) leading Mike Collier, 47%-42%. The Siena poll has Patrick leading Collier, 49%-41%.

AG (Lean R): The Emerson poll found Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leading Rochelle Garza, 47%-42%. The Siena poll has Paxton leading Garza, 48%-42%.

Harris County: A new Univ. of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs poll finds Republican challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer leading County Judge Lina Hidalgo (D), 47%-45%.

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