Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has a commanding lead over Democrat challenger Beto O’Rourke out of the gate, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.
O’Rourke is trailing the Republican incumbent governor by double digits, falling 15 points behind Abbott in the new numbers. According to the poll, independent Texas voters back Abbott by 10 points over O’Rourke in a head-to-head matchup.
“How far behind is Beto O’Rourke? Fifteen points is more than your typical two touchdown deficit in football and an even bigger hole in the game of politics,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said. “That said, Texas is a big state with big issues and there’s a lot of time to play catchup between now and Nov. 8, 2022.”
The poll numbers illustrate that the biggest issue facing Texan voters is the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, with the economy and abortion trailing behind it. Additionally, the numbers spell trouble for O’Rourke’s nascent gubernatorial campaign – nearly half of Texans, 49%, do not believe he has good leadership skills compared with 37% who believe he does.
Voters are split on whether O’Rourke cares about average Texans, with 45% saying he does and 44% saying he doesn’t. Abbott also led on how he would handle key issues, beating O’Rourke in all six categories – the economy, COVID-19 response, election laws, abortion, the border crisis and gun policy, the hallmark of O’Rourke’s campaign.