November 2: Updated with University of Houston/Hobby School poll, which found Abbott leading O'Rourke 53%-40% among likely voters.
There are Democratic votes to be had in rural Texas. Looking back at polling between 2015 and June 2022, on average over that time span, 61.75% of rural Texas voters have identified as Republicans and 25.61% as Democrats. The data don’t demonstrate significant fluctuations in the party identification patterns of Texas’ rural voters over time, though the Republican share has not been less than 64% in 6 UT/Texas Politics Project polls conducted between June 2021 and June 2022. Democratic identification among rural voters has stood at 22% in each of three surveys conducted so far in 2022. The remainder of the rural registered voter pool, 12.57% on average, identify as independent, by which we mean voters who neither identify with, nor consistently lean toward, either party. So while a non-trivial share of Democrats appear to remain in Texas’ rural areas, in the recent term, the GOP advantage does seem to be slightly on the increase — consistent with broader trends in party system dynamics.
A round-up of results in the April 2022 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll related to the 2022 Texas election
The majority of the April University of Texas / Texas Politics Project poll focused on the many issues currently facing the state and the country, many of which we expect to continue being a large part of the public discussion in the lead-up to the November elections. Taking into account that the general election remians several months in the future, the items in the poll related to the election were designed to assess attitudes toward candidates in the the most prominent upcoming Texas run-offs, and eventually, in the general election. We've compiled some results to these items with a particular emphasis on the overall views and those among key groups of voters, whether in the upcoming general (e.g. independents, Hispanics, suburban voters), or in the upcoming primary run-offs (e.g. committed partisans, ideologues, and others).
Public opinion data from University of Texas/Texas Politics Project polling provides ample opportunity to assess which issues and themes might resonate with voters in the upcoming 2022 general election campaigns. Results from the latest poll and other recent surveys in our polling archive suggest that the public opinion landscape – at least barring unexpected, major events that bring new issues to the fore or shift the attitudes of large blocs of voters, which is rare – adds yet another advantage to an already long list of Republican assets going into the 2022 general election.
Last week, Governor Abbott quietly issued two little-noticed declarations renewing his emergency powers in two key policy areas – the COVID-19 pandemic and border security. However different the policy problems targeted by the declarations and their respective contexts, Abbott’s declarations reflect two consistent characteristics of his approach to being governor: sustained efforts to strengthen the position of the governor’s office in the state’s political system (especially vis-a-vis the legislature and other statewide elected officials), and a habit of strategic caution at the intersection of politics and governance.
Beto O'Rourke makes his long-anticpated entry into the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election as the presumptive Democratic candidate, setting up a bruising general election contest with Gov. Greg Abbott in the general election as Abbott seeks re-election to a third term. On O'Rourke's first official day in the race, we've compiled highlights from polling in the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, dating from his losing challenge to Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 to results for the October 2021 University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll.
Greg Abbott is expected to announce his intention to seek a second term as Governor tomorrow in San Antonio. In addition to what is already a formidable war chest of more than $34 million (with an increase in that number expected to be announced soon as well), Abbott also has high job approval ratings among the state's Republican majority.
Lame duck or not, Rick Perry is still the Republican governor of a strongly Republican state. In Texas, he controls the levers of government, muzzles the news media and has no meaningful political opposition.