Abbott holds lead over O’Rourke in Texas race: Poll

(The Hill) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) holds an eight-point lead over his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke less than 50 days out from Election Day, according to a new Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey released Tuesday. 

Fifty percent of Texas voters said they supported Abbott, while 42 percent said the same about O’Rourke. Five percent of voters said they were undecided, while 2 percent said they supported Libertarian Mark Tippetts. 

The previous Emerson College/The Hill poll on the race, released in February, showed Abbott leading O’Rourke 52 percent to 45 percent. That poll was conducted prior to the Texas primary in March. 

Other polls have also shown Abbott widening his lead over O’Rourke. A poll released on Monday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler showed Abbott with 47 percent support from Texas voters, while O’Rourke came in with 38 percent support. 

The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Abbott leading O’Rourke by 8 points. 

The recent polling comes as positive news for Abbott, who has grappled with a slew of shootings, including one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this year, along with backlash over the state government’s handling of a winter storm that severely damaged the state’s power grid last year. The numbers indicate the incumbent governor appears to be in a safe position in the red state for now. 

The latest Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey also shows that a majority of voters — 63 percent — expect Abbott to win reelection while 37 percent said the same about O’Rourke. According to the poll, 55 percent of voters say they have a favorable view of Abbott while 43 percent said they have a negative view of him. Forty-four percent said they have a favorable view of O’Rourke while 52 percent said they have a negative view of him. 

In terms of top issues, 40 percent of Texas voters said the economy was their top issue, while 16 percent said the same about abortion access. Another 12 percent and 8 percent name immigration and health care as their top issue, respectively. 

“Among those much more likely to vote because of Roe overturning, 62% plan to vote for O’Rourke. For those whom it makes no difference, 72% plan to vote for Abbott,” Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College Polling, said. 

The Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey was conducted Sept. 20-22 among 1,000 likely voters. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.02 percentage points. 

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