New poll: Abbott doubles lead over Valdez; Trump rating improves in Texas

May 30, 2018 GMT

AUSTIN — Incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has doubled his lead over Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez in recent weeks, a new poll published on Wednesday shows.

Incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz also extended his lead over Democrat Beto O’Rourke to 50-39 percent, picking up a big boost from men. Last month’s poll implied a closer 47-44 percent race.

The Quinnipiac Poll — which surveyed 961 Texas voters May 23-29 with a margin or error of 3.8 points — showed that Abbott leads Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, by a margin of 53-34 percent, doubling his 49-40 percent lead in an April 18 poll by the university.

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According to the new poll, Abbott leads 58-28 percent among men and 48-40 percent among women. White voters back Abbott 69-22 percent, black voters back Valdez 66-21 percent and Latino voters are divided — 43 percent for Valdez and 39 percent for Abbott.

“Gov. Greg Abbott is way ahead in his reelection bid. Lupe Valdez has won the Democratic Primary and is now able to focus on the general election. But she has a long way to go,” said Pater Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.

Not surprisingly, Republicans support Abbott 94-2 percent, and independent voters chose him by a 45-38 percent margin. Democrats back Valdez 78-12 percent.

The poll also found that 60 percent of Texas voters approve of the job Abbott is doing and give him a 53 percent favorability rating. Valdez has a 15 percent favorability rating, but 53 percent of voters who responded to the poll said they didn’t know enough about her to form an opinion of her.

The poll also reported that Texas voters are evenly split on President Donald Trump — 47 support and 47 percent oppose him 47 percent — in what is a slightly improved rating, compared to a 52-43 percent negative view Texans had of him in the April poll.