Texas Gov. Greg Abbott widens lead over Beto O’Rourke as voters focus on economy: poll

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott increased his lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in a poll released Monday, the latest indication of growing Republican strength as economic concerns take center stage with voters ahead of the midterm elections.

The Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey of very likely Texas voters found Mr. Abbott leading the former congressman by 52% to 42%, with 2% favoring Libertarian candidate Mark Tippetts and 4% undecided.

Last month’s poll on the Texas gubernatorial contest had Mr. Abbott ahead by 50% to 42%.

In addition, 55% of Texas voters held a favorable view of the incumbent versus 42% with an unfavorable view. Mr. O’Rourke’s favorability was underwater, with 45% holding a favorable opinion of him and 51% viewing him unfavorably.

Among the voting blocs boosting Mr. Abbott’s advantage are male voters, said Emerson polling Executive Director Spencer Kimball.

“Abbott has a commanding 23-point lead among male voters, whereas O’Rourke holds a three-point lead among women voters,” Mr. Kimball said.

SEE ALSO: Republicans lean toward DeSantis as the main party influencer over Trump

In the other marquee statewide races, down-ticket Texas Republicans also led their Democratic foes, although their margins were narrower than Mr. Abbott’s.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was ahead of Democratic candidate Mike Collier by 47% to 42%, while Attorney General Ken Paxton held a lead over Democrat Rochelle Garza by 47% to 42%.

The economy led the list of concerns for Texas voters: 45% ranked the economy as their main issue, up from 40% in September, followed by health care (11%), abortion (11%), threats to democracy (10%) and immigration (9%).

Former President Donald Trump won a hypothetical 2024 match-up against President Biden, with 47% favoring the Republican and 40% supporting the Democratic incumbent, while 9% said they would vote for someone else.

Mr. Abbott’s decision to bus migrants awaiting asylum hearings to other parts of the country was also popular, with 53% supporting the move and 36% opposing it.

The poll was conducted Oct. 17-19 with very likely general election voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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