Abbott, O'Rourke in virtual tie one year away from Texas governor election


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is in a virtual tie with Democrat Beto O'Rourke in a new poll released Monday that surveys voters on a possible gubernatorial race between the two.

O'Rourke is flirting with running for governor in an election that would take place one year from now.

The poll, conducted by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF), found that 44 percent of voters are in favor of Abbott remaining governor of Texas, while 43 percent are in favor of O'Rourke becoming governor. The remainder of respondents said they were either unsure or wanted a minor party candidate to be governor.

The TxHPF noted that the results of the poll remain nearly identical when limited to only those who voted in the 2020 elections, with just a drop of 2 percentage points among those who are unsure.

O'Rourke formerly represented a Texas district in the U.S. House and has run for president and the Senate. He's seen as a potentially strong Democratic candidate in the race. 

TxHPF Chairman and CEO Jason Villalba noted that while Abbott, who faces several primary challengers, has strengthened his support among Republicans in Texas, this may have come at a cost to his reelection bid.

“Governor Abbott has shored up his right flank and stands firmly on solid ground with Republican primary voters,” Villalba said.

“But based on our data, it appears that he has achieved this objective by cutting deeply into his support with Texans who vote in the general election," he added. "Much can happen over the course of the year, but these numbers show that not only can we expect a competitive general election, but that Abbott’s shift to the hard right may have imperiled his governorship.”

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