A poll released this week by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation shows Gov. Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke are in a “dead heat” for the top executive office in Texas.
Abbott leads O’Rourke 44% to 43% among 2020 voters, according to the poll that surveyed 1,400 Texans. While Abbott clings to a narrow lead overall, he’s in deep trouble with Latino voters, who could turn out to be a crucial voting bloc. O’Rourke leads Abbott among Hispanic voters by 18 points, 49-31.
The same poll finds Abbott is running far ahead of his primary opponents. The incumbent governor is 51 percentage points ahead of his next-closest rival, former state Republican Party Chairman Allen West.
O’Rourke, a former El Paso Congressman, has yet to officially declare his candidacy.
Jason Villalba, a former statehouse Republican lawmaker and chairman and CEO of the TxHPF, said Abbott shored up his right flank by, “cutting deeply into his support with Texans who vote in the general election.”
“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,” Villalba said.
The poll also found that actor Matthew McConaughey, who has teased a run for governor as an independent, only garners 9% of the vote in Texas.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com