With less than four weeks to go until November’s elections, Gov. Greg Abbott is maintaining his upper-single digit lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke as the Republican governor runs for a third four-year term steering Texas.
Abbott tops O’Rourke 52%-44% among Texans who say they’ll definitely vote in this year’s election, according to a Marist Poll released on Wednesday.
The survey, conducted Oct. 3-6, indicates that O’Rourke holds a 10-point lead, 49%-39%, over the governor among independents.
But Marist Institute for Public Opinion director Lee Miringoff noted that “Gov. Abbott is advantaged by the fact that Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state, and more Republicans than Democrats definitely plan to vote… In order to pull off an upset, O’Rourke needs to bank on the greater enthusiasm of his supporters translating into a greater turnout among younger, independent, urban and suburban voters.”
O’Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso who grabbed national attention for nearly upsetting conservative Sen. Ted Cruz in the state’s 2018 Senate showdown before launching an unsuccessful bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, is trying to become the first Democrat to win a gubernatorial election in Texas in over three decades.
He has showcased his proposals promoting public education and reducing gun violence, in the wake of the horrific Uvalde, Texas, shooting where 19 elementary school students and two teachers were fatally shot, during his gubernatorial campaign. He’s also criticized the governor for last year’s electricity grid failure across the state and for signing an extremely strict abortion law.
Abbott, the conservative former longtime state attorney general, has touted the state’s economy, his tough stance on the issues of border security and illegal immigration, and has targeted O’Rourke for his pivots on issues such as gun control.
The governor has topped O’Rourke in nearly every public opinion poll in the race dating back to last year. And an average of the most recent surveys compiled by RealClearPolitics indicates Abbott holding an 8.5-point lead over his Democratic challenger.
The Marist poll indicates that neither Abbott nor O’Rourke is popular with Texas voters. The governor’s favorable/unfavorable rating stands at 43%-46%, with O’Rourke at 39%-44%.