New poll shows O’Rourke within 5 points of Abbott in Texas governor race

Democrat Beto O’Rourke is within five points of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) with weeks remaining until November’s election, new polling shows.

A poll released Wednesday from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas shows Abbott ahead of O’Rourke 45 percent to 40 percent. 

The margin is slightly narrower than in previous versions of the poll: Abbott led by 6 points in June and 11 points in April. Other recent polling has put Abbott ahead by 7 points. 

Voters were evenly divided in their opinion of the Republican, with 45 percent of respondents holding favorable and unfavorable views, respectively. By contrast, 41 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of O’Rourke, and 48 percent viewed him unfavorably.  

Voters were more likely to say they trusted Abbott over O’Rourke to deal with issues like the economy, property taxes, public safety and immigration. 

O’Rourke was more likely than Abbot to be trusted on health care, abortion and the environment and climate change. 

Voters were evenly split on who would do a better job at dealing with gun violence — and the results were close on public education and the state’s electric grid, both leaning to Abbott by 1 percentage point. 

Abbott has made headlines recently for sending buses of migrants north from the southern border, into Democratic-led New York City, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

O’Rourke publicly confronted Abbott earlier this year at a press conference following the mass shooting that killed 21 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 

The Democrat has also knocked Abbott for his handling of the state’s energy issues. 

The close race — and Abbott’s controversial response to migrants and the Uvalde mass shooting — has given Democrats some cautious optimism about their candidate’s chances. 

Both candidates continue to pull most of their support from their bases, with “little evidence that either candidate is attracting significant crossover votes,” according to the report. 

Conducted Aug. 28-Sept. 6, the poll surveyed 1,200 self-declared registered voters and had a margin of error of 2.83 percentage points. 

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