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.