UT/Texas Tribune Poll: Double-Digit Leads Favor Republicans in Statewide Races

AUSTIN, Texas — Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott and other Texas Republicans continue to hold double-digit leads in major statewide races in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

If the election for Texas governor were held today, Attorney General Abbott would have a 16-point lead over state Sen. Wendy Davis, 54 to 38 percent. A June poll gave Abbott a 12-point lead over Davis.

In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican Dan Patrick led Democrat Leticia Van de Putte by 17 points, 52 to 35 percent.

"The substantial leads held by Republicans from the top to the bottom of the ballot suggest that the much-discussed demographic changes in the state are unlikely to translate into an immediate reversal of fortune for the Democratic Party in this election," said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin and a co-director of the poll.

The statewide poll, conducted Oct. 10-19, surveyed 1,200 registered Texas voters and had a margin of error of +/-3.28 percentage points. The election match-up results are based on a sub-sample of 866 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/-3.33 percentage points (+/-3.60 adjusted for weighting).

In the race for attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton held a 20-point lead over Democrat Sam Houston, 54 to 34 percent. In the race for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Republican Sen. John Cornyn led Democrat David Alameel 57 to 31 percent. In other races:

  • Comptroller: Republican Glenn Hegar led Democrat Mike Collier 49 to 34 percent.
  • Land Commissioner: Republican George P. Bush led Democrat John Cook 50 to 32 percent.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture: Republican Sid Miller led Democrat Jim Hogan 47 to 35 percent.
  • Railroad Commissioner: Republican Ryan Sitton led Democrat Steve Brown 48 to 34 percent.

"Very few race-specific dynamics exist in these down-ballot statewide races," said poll co-director Daron Shaw, a professor of government at The University of Texas at Austin. "They are really just expressions of the underlying partisanship of the Texas electorate, and that's not good for Democrats these days."

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.