The poll considering the opinion of 1,200 registered voters in Texas not only showed 50% disapproval against 41% of approval -9% answered they did not know or did not have an opinion- but it also revealed a 52% majority who believe Texas is “headed in the wrong direction” the highest recorded percentage in that category.
The project, which began polling in 2008, has conducted surveys throughout Abbott’s tenure as governor and shows in their latest edition that a majority believe the governor is not performing his job right, a disapproval rating following a clear tendency of pronounced falling.
“Everywhere you look in the poll there’s just signs that the mood here is very dour. And when you have one party that owns the policy environment, that’s not good news,” said James Henson, director of the poll. “The Republicans have had a pretty easy ride for the two-decades-plus they’ve been in power in the state. And there’s now a convergence of factors that’s really going to test their ability to govern. And we’ve seen a very clear approach to that in this last legislative session, and it doesn’t seem to going over very well.”
Abbott’s highest approval rate was recorded at 56% in April 2020, during the first surge of COVID-19, when the governor imposed strict measures to fight the pandemic. As the governor lowered the safety measures with time, so did his approval rating.
According to KTSM, 49% of surveyed voters disapprove of Texas’ response to the pandemic, 39% approved and the rest were either neutral or didn’t know or have an opinion. The poll showed 53% specifically disapprove of how Abbott is handling the pandemic.
Governor Abbott’s low scores seemed to be highly influenced by his actions during emergencies, such as the February winter storm and his prohibition on mask mandates, which triggered a legal crusade and currently has parents worrying over their children’s health.
“The election isn’t tomorrow, it’s not until next year, but it’s been a long time since there was a widespread sense in the state that things aren’t going well, and I think we’re seeing more indications of that,” Henson said.
As reported by the Houston Chronicle, these findings come as Texas faces a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, with the hospitals overflowing more with the sick than at any other point in the pandemic, findings which were published Days before Abbott himself tested positive for the virus — the night after he held a packed, indoor, maskless rally with supporters.