Texas Gov. Abbott Opens Up Lead Over Beto O’Rourke

A survey conducted between August 11 and 29 by the University of Houston and Texas Southern University indicates that Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has strengthened his lead over Democrat Beto O’Rourke in the lead-up to the November general election.

Abbott polled most strongly among respondents who identified themselves as “almost certain voters.” In that group, Abbott is favored by 53% and O’Rourke only 41%.

In the group of “likely voters,” Abbott’s lead is more modest, 48% to 42%.

Among the likely voters, O’Rourke leads with Hispanics, 53% to Abbott’s 38%, and with Blacks, 72% to 15%. Among White voters, Abbott leads, 61% to 32%.

Abbott also has a sizeable lead among independent likely voters, leading O’Rourke 46% to 25%.

In the key demographic of likely women voters, the two are in a dead heat, each receiving 45% support.

Abbott has led in every official poll or survey that has been reported during the election cycle. In the current RealClearPolitics polling average of likely voters, Abbott leads O’Rourke by 48.4% to 41.2%.

The two candidates are scheduled to face off in an in-person debate later this month in the only face-to-face meeting that has been agreed on so far.

Texas has seen extensive litigation in state and federal courts over the last year regarding the pro-life Heartbeat Act the state legislature passed and Abbott signed last summer. With the ruling in June by the U.S. Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade, the Texas law is in full effect and has already saved the lives of thousands of unborn children.

Like many Demcorats nationally, O’Rourke has decided to make the abortion issue a central part of his campaign. Both gubernatorial candidates hammered one another on Wednesday on the issue.

O’Rourke said at a rally in Denton that Abbott is “potentially killing women” when he signed the Heartbeat act.

Abbott campaign spokesperson Renae Eze responded by saying that the view Texans actually consider to be “extreme” is the one held by O’Rourke and Democrats that “would have doctors killing babies up to the moment of birth and stopping life-saving care for babies who survive abortion.”

She added that Gov. Abbott has “fought to protect the lives of both the mother and the child, providing more pre-natal and post-partum care for mothers and expanding the Alternatives to Abortion program by more than 800% since he first took office.”