Texas Gov. Greg Abbott leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Roarke 4-points, according to a Marist Poll released Wednesday.
Abbott claimed 49% support in the survey, while O’Roarke captured just 45% buy-in from voters.
It gets worse for O’Roarke when viewing only those who say they will definitely cast a ballot. There, Abbott leads 52% to 44%.
Abbott’s lead comes despite O’Roarke’s success among independents. The Democrat leads Abbott 49% to 39% among non-partisan voters.
Neither candidate is viewed favorably among the electorate, and their reviews mirror the poll’s results on voter preference, with 43% viewing Abbott favorably and 39% for O’Roarke.
“Governor Abbott is advantaged by the fact that Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state, and more Republicans than Democrats definitely plan to vote,” Marist Institute for Public Opinion Director Lee M. Miringoff said. “In order to pull off an upset, O’Rourke needs to bank on the greater enthusiasm of his supporters translating into a greater turnout among younger, independent, urban, and suburban voters.”
That analysis jibes with President Joe Biden’s approval rating in the state, which finds him underwater with voters with a 53% disapproval rating.
Likewise, O’Roarke faces challenges at the ballot box due to the economy. Nearly three in 10 surveyed voters said inflation was the most important issue this November, a topic that leads many to blame the party in power.
Not nearly as many voters said preserving democracy, an issue which may favor Democrats, is top of mind, though that issue received the second-highest number of mentions in the poll.
Also important to voters are abortion (16%), immigration (13%), health care (10%) and crime (9%).
The poll was conducted Oct. 3-6 among 1,058 likely Texas voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.