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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The underdogs are falling behind in two closely watched elections in Texas, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.

The poll, released Monday, finds Texas attorney general Greg Abbott (R) leading state senator Wendy Davis (D) 47 to 36 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup, with 17 percent undecided.

Abbott/Davis Poll

Both Abbott and Davis are expected to easily win their respective primaries on March 4, setting up a blockbuster general election matchup. Davis has become an instant superstar on the left — and a pariah on the right — in the wake of her memorable 14-hour filibuster of an anti-abortion bill. Abbott has long been considered the heir apparent to Texas governor Rick Perry, and his $29.4 million war chest leaves him among the most cash-flush candidates in the nation.

Abbott’s 11 percent lead is up from 6 percent in October’s UT/Texas Tribune poll, perhaps reflecting the rocky launch of Davis’ gubernatorial campaign. In January, the Dallas Morning News published an article raising questions about Davis’ inspiring life story, leading to a torrent of criticism from Republicans.

“The story of the last four months is, Davis loses a couple points, Abbott gains a couple of points,” said Daron Shaw, the co-director of the poll, told the Tribune. “He had a pretty good couple of months. She had a pretty bad couple of months, all without many people paying attention.”

Indeed, there is still plenty of room for the race to shift. In addition to the 17 percent of voters who are still undecided, voters still know little about the two candidates — 29 percent have a favorable opinion of Abbott, while 20 percent view him unfavorably, 20 percent view him neither favorably nor unfavorably, and 31 percent don’t know. Davis is even less well known; just 11 percent view her favorably, 12 percent view her unfavorably, 19 percent view her neither favorably nor unfavorably, and a whopping 58 percent don’t know.

The poll also questioned voters on Texas’ Senate race, in which Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) is seeking a third term in office. Cornyn is facing an insurgent challenge from U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), but the Tea Party-backed challenger is gaining very little traction. According to the poll, Cornyn leads Stockman 60 to 16 percent, with six other candidates trailing in the single digits. Among likely Republican primary voters, Cornyn’s lead is 62 to 16 percent. Either result would be enough for Cornyn to win the primary outright on March 4, and avoid a May 27 runoff.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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  • aldisiij367

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  • DAK27

    If Texas gets Abbott as Governor, the idiots who voted him into office deserve what they get. Remember, this is the guy who WANTED Ted Draft-Dodger-pedifile-coward-liar Nugent to campaign with him. (The PERFECT poster-boy for the GOP/TEA) Now tell me Texans aren’t stupid.

    • Sand_Cat

      You won’t hear that from me!

  • terry b

    Wendy Davis is not a fan of Adolph Hitler like her opponent seems to be. She fought a great battle last year and I expect her to do even better against her opponent who creeps me out. It would be nice to see Texas to go from a horrible governor to one who would make a terrific governor. Even being from Wisconsin, I will contribute money to her campaign. Why? Because she is so superior to her opponent in every facet of this campaign.

  • stcroixcarp

    As much as I personally like Wendy Davis, I am conceding Texas as a lost cause. I have crossed Texas off, right after Arizona, as a must visit state. Won’t spend any of my money there.

    • JSquercia

      Any woman who does not vote for Wendy Davis is just PLAIN crazy .

  • Bryan Blake

    As a Texan I have watched the long, long, slow motion, train wreck of the Democratic Party here in Texas. The single greatest contributing factor to turning this state to a deep red one has been money. GOP money from both in and outside of the state. It took about 30 years to shift the state into the GOP column. Then there was the ultimate Repubo-man George W. Bush, the never-did-well, shaped and molded by a lifetime of money to serve the 1%. When Bush became governor a mass exodus began from the Democratic Party. Even Rick Perry hoofed his way over to the GOP and would wind up Governor after Bush.

    Texas, as a part of “The Bible Belt”, has an overabundance of right wind extremist Christians. Untold millions of dollars have been poured into this group to make them a reliable voting block for the GOP. The extremist Christians are the ONLY

    • sigrid28

      Great post! The picture you share about religion in Texas rings true and has the truth of long experience, which you have been very generous and articulate in sharing with the rest of us on the NM comment threads. You answered a number of my questions about the Democratic party in Texas and, in particular, Wendy Davis. I am having trouble understanding how such an undesirable candidate as Abbott begins to get ahead of Davis in the polls, particularly since he has brought in Ted Nugent as a surrogate. I’m wondering why Wendy Davis, a newcomer to politics, does not seem to have received better advice from mentors in the Democratic party in Texas, particularly with respect to the roll out of her biography and the creation of a platform that will help her win. She made some novitiate errors right off the bat. Is she forced to go it alone because competitors within the Democratic party wish to undermine her candidacy and run someone else? I don’t think any candidate going it alone with a skeleton crew can win an election these days.

  • johninPCFL

    It’d be a shame if Davis loses. I was so looking forward to pedophile Nugent crapping himself for a week again.

    • docb

      Davis knew it would be a hard fought battle uphill…The nugent candidate abbott is severely conservative way beyond Perry and a real bigot. This race is not over…give him and his idiots a good dose of SUNLIGHT…it disinfects even the most vile of parasites!