Texas showdown: Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke gains ground over GOP Governor Greg Abbott in new poll

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A new Texas public opinion poll released Wednesday suggests Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke has increased his support and trails two-term Republican Governor Greg Abbott by single digits.

O’Rourke, a former congressman from El Paso who nearly ousted Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 Senate election before running unsuccessfully for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has the support of 43% of voters. registered voters in a Quinnipiac University poll.

Abbott, a former state attorney general who is seeking a third four-year term as leader of Texas, won 48% support.

Abbott’s 5-point advantage over O’Rourke was down from a 15-point lead in a Quinnipiac survey conducted in December. Other recent polls have indicated Abbott with a bigger lead.

The new survey polled respondents from June 9 to June 13, following the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 young students and two teachers were killed and 17 others injured.

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The Quinnipiac poll indicated Abbott was up double digits among men, with O’Rourke holding a similar lead among women. The governor led among white voters and those 35 and older, while O’Rourke led among black and Hispanic voters, and those 18 to 34, according to the survey.

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Abbott’s ratings were 46% favorable and 45% unfavorable, while O’Rourke was slightly under water at 38%-43%.

Beto O'Rourke and Governor Greg Abbott will face off again in the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election.
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Beto O’Rourke and Governor Greg Abbott will face off again in the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election.
(Getty Images)

“The race is getting tighter,” noted Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy. “Abbott, seen as strong on leadership, is slipping. O’Rourke, long seen on empathy, is riding the momentum of supporting women and young Texans in horse racing in Austin.”

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A plurality of Texas voters said border security was their top issue, and the governor passed O’Rourke on how he would handle the southern border by 53% to 38%. The survey also said Abbott outperformed O’Rourke on handling the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, election laws and gun politics, although O’Rourke had a slight advantage on the matter. of abortion.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke, who is running against Texas Governor Greg Abbott for the governorship this year, interrupts a press conference led by Abbott.  (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running against Texas Governor Greg Abbott for the governorship this year, interrupts a press conference led by Abbott. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Abbott held a 46% approval and 48% disapproval rating as governor. But on the gun violence rebate, only 31% approved, with 6 in 10 disapproving.

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President Biden was deep in negative territory according to the poll, with just a third of Lone Star State voters giving him a thumbs up and 61% disapproving.

Quinnipiac polled 1,257 registered voters in Texas for the survey with an overall sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

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