Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is leading both Republican challengers and his likely Democratic opponent ahead of November's general election, according to a new poll conducted by the University of Texas-Tyler for The Dallas Morning News.
Abbott notched 59% of the vote against Republican challengers while former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., former Republican state Sen. Don Huffines, and conservative TV personality Chad Prather received no more than 7%.
A computer engineer with the same name as Abbott’s predecessor, former Republican Gov. Rick Perry, took 4% of the vote.
Abbott also leads former Rep. Beto O’Rourke in a general election match-up 47% to 36%, the poll found.
O’Rourke, a Democrat who in 2018 got closer to toppling an incumbent Republican senator than anyone has in 40 years in his Senate race against Ted Cruz, raised an impressive $7.2 million in his first seven weeks on the campaign trail.
Among Latino voters — a critical constituency the governor has courted during his two terms in office — Abbott is running even with O’Rourke. The poll shows Abbott leading O’Rourke among independent voters 37% to 31%, and Abbott has a 29-point edge among white voters.
The survey suggests that O’Rourke should skate to victory in the Democratic primary, where he faces seven relatively unknown rivals.
A full 51% of Texas voters report they approve of the job Abbott has done as governor, while 45% disapprove. Just 37% said they view O’Rourke favorably, and 45% see him unfavorably.
Republican primary voters seem poised to renominate Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has become a powerful force in the Texas Legislature. With little more than a month to go before the election, none of Patrick's contenders poll above 3%, though nearly half of primary voters say they remain undecided.
Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton may be headed for a runoff election, however. Under indictment for securities fraud since 2015, Paxton leads Republican state Land Commissioner George P. Bush 33% to 19%. Former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Rep. Louie Gohmert, both Republicans, trail at 7% and 8%, respectively.
If Paxton does not receive a majority of the vote in the March 1 primary, he and the second-place contender would square off in a May 24 runoff election.
Paxton has received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.
The poll surveyed 1,082 registered voters in Texas from Jan. 18 to 25, in both English and Spanish. The overall margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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