A warning sign for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

A warning sign for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
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A new poll finds cause for concern for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who is seeking reelection in 2022.

  • A historic job approval drop: The GOP governor’s job approval rating among registered voters is underwater for the first time since 2018, according to polling from Quinnipiac University, finding 44% of Texans approve of Abbott’s work as governor while 47% disapprove. 
  • 51% say he does not deserve reelection: When Texas voters are asked about Abbott’s reelection prospects, a slight majority (51%) say he does not deserve to be reelected; 42% say he does.
  • That disapproval grew in the last three months: Compare that with June, when voters were split at 48% saying he did not deserve reelection while 46% said he did.

Let’s go over what happened this summer: Abbott codified laws restricting abortion and banning government vaccine mandates, and grappling with a surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border, among other issues.

Voters give Abbott a thumbs down on his handling of all three hot-button issues:

  • Situation at the Mexican border: 43% approve, 46% disapprove.
  • Response to the coronavirus: 46% approve, 50% disapprove.
  • Abortion: 37% approve, 53% disapprove.

Abbot does get a thumbs up on the economy. A solid 53% of voters approve of his handling of the economy, while 39% disapprove.

There is a silver lining for Abbott in the Quinnipiac poll. Voters may not like him right now, but they dislike other high-profile gubernatorial prospects even more.

  • 50% said they did not think Democrat (and former Senate and presidential candidate) Beto O’Rourke would make a good governor.
  • Nearly the same amount (49%) said they did not think actor Matthew McConaughey, an Austin resident and Texas native, would make a good governor. McConaughey recently said on a podcast that he is “measuring” a run, despite having no party affiliation or stated platform.

The Point: Texas voters aren’t totally keen on Abbott’s reelection, but so far, polling shows they dislike the alternatives even more.

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