The race to become the next Governor of Texas is heating up. After lagging behind his potential rival Matthew McConaughey in the spring, incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott now has a very small lead over him (1 %), according to a recent poll.
On Sunday, The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler published a new poll, conducted between the 22nd and 29th of June. There were 1,090 registered voters polled, and it has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points. This means that Mr. Abbott and Mr. McConaughey are within that margin, so there is no clear front-runner as of today.
Since April, Mr. Abbott has improved with GOP voters in Texas. Perhaps because McConaughey hasn’t even announced whether he is running or not, Mr. Abbott is leading with wide margins in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He is leading fellow Republican and former state senator Don Huffines of Dallas with 77% against 12% for the former senator.
No major Democrat has announced a challenge against Mr. Abbott. However, Beto O’Rourke, a former El Paso congressman and presidential candidate, hasn’t ruled out running for statewide office again. If he chooses to run, he will begin his bid 12 points behind incumbent Greg Abbott.
The poll also showed that Mr. Abbott’s support continues to be over 10 points lower than during the early weeks of the pandemic. In April 2020, he held a 61%-23% split in his favor. Now, only 50% of Texans approve of his job and 36% disapprove of it. This will definitely represent a challenge for him in the next election.