Abbott Maintains Lead Over Davis in Latest UT/Texas Tribune Poll

Attorney General Greg Abbott continues to hold an edge over gubernatorial challenger state Sen. Wendy Davis in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, with Republicans maintaining double-digit advantages in other major races.

If the election for Texas governor were held today, Abbott would have a 12-point lead over Davis, 44 to 32 percent, with 17 percent undecided. A February poll gave Abbott an 11-point lead over Davis.

In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican Dan Patrick leads Democrat Leticia Van de Putte by 15 points, 41 to 26 percent, with 23 percent undecided.

The statewide poll, conducted May 30 to June 8, surveyed 1,200 registered Texas voters and had a margin of error of 3.28 percentage points.

"Republican candidates continue to benefit from an advantage in party identification in the electorate," said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin and a co-director of the poll. "The Democratic ticket headed by Wendy Davis will need to pull off some combination of increasing turnout among Democratic voters and persuading Republicans and independents to vote for them to overcome the Republican advantage that is evident in this poll and in previous polling in the 2014 election cycle."

In the race for attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton holds a 13-point lead over Democrat Sam Houston, 40 to 27 percent, with 27 percent undecided. In the race for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Republican Sen. John Cornyn leads Democrat David Alameel 36 to 25 percent. In other races:

  • Comptroller: Republican Glenn Hegar leads Democrat Mike Collier 32 to 25 percent.
  • Land Commissioner: Republican George P. Bush leads Democrat John Cook 36 to 25 percent.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture: Republican Sid Miller leads Democrat Jim Hogan 32 to 24 percent.
  • Railroad Commissioner: Republican Ryan Sitton leads Democrat Steve Brown 32 to 24 percent.

"The numbers for all of the statewide races reflect the fact that Texas remains a solidly Republican state," said poll co-director Daron Shaw, a professor of government at The University of Texas at Austin. "The fact that most voters have not yet engaged with the 2014 election is about the only positive note for Democrats."

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was a strong favorite among Republican voters for the 2016 Republican primary election for president. Thirty-three percent of respondents tapped Cruz, with the nearest challenger, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, received 9 percent and Texas Gov. Rick Perry received 7 percent. The numbers echoed the strong showing by Cruz in last Saturday's straw poll at the Texas GOP convention.

"Whatever Beltway pundits and journalists say about Ted Cruz, he remains the dominant personality in Texas politics," said Shaw.

Among Texas Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outpolled her nearest challenger, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 64 to 15 percent.

This is the latest in a series of online polls conducted by the Texas Politics Project and The Texas Tribune. Comprehensive poll results, information about methodology and the survey dataset will be available at the Texas Politics Project website next week after the publication of questions on education, immigration and other policy issues at the Tribune website.