According to a new survey conducted by the Emerson College Polling Society, Texas Attorney General Gregory Abbott (R) has a seven point lead over his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis (49% to 42%) in the upcoming gubernatorial election. The Polling Society is the first organization to look at the race since the March 6th primary. The survey was conducted from March 7th to March 12th, with a sample of 492 likely voters.
Abbott has a slight lead among independents and women, the two groups Democrats typically rely on in order to compete in the Lone Star State. Forty-two percent of independents currently support Abbott while 40 percent support Davis and 17 percent are undecided. Women voters are also more likely to vote for Abbott than Davis (46% to 42%).
Both candidates have wide support among their bases. Eighty-five percent of Republican say they will vote for Abbott while 8 percent prefer Davis. Similarly, Democrat voters support Davis overwhelmingly (84% to 9% for Abbott).
Data was collected on March 7th to 12th using an automated data collection system. The Texas sample consisted of 494 registered likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
No, I don’t know why it says 492 voters in one place and 494 in the other. Be that as it may, their polling page is here, their questions are here, and the crosstabs, which are a bit hard to figure out, are here (Excel file). I’ve never heard of this outfit before so I have no idea how reliable they are, but they nailed the 2013 Virginia Governor’s race (their final poll had Terry McAuliffe up by two; he won by 2.5 and the 2013 Massachusetts Senate race (they had Ed Markey up by 10, and he won by 10). That’s a lot better than some other polls I could name. According to their Facebook page, they plan to follow this race till the end, so it will be interesting to see how their results move over time and how they compare to other pollsters’ numbers. I hope they add questions about the Lt. Governor’s race as well.
Because their presentation of crosstab data is so weird, I’m not going to try to interpret it. It’s too early to make much of that anyway. I will note two other results of interest from this poll, however:
United States Senator and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz is viewed unfavorably in his home state– 43 percent view him favorably while 48 percent view him unfavorably. Cruz is particularly unpopular among women (39% favorable compared to 50% unfavorable).
55 percent of Texans are in favor of increasing the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, while 44 percent are against it. However, 68 percent of women are in favor of the increase, while men are evenly split on the issue 50-50 percent. An overwhelming majority of African-Americans were in support of this increase (88% in support, and 12% against).
Perhaps a little food for thought for the Davis campaign. Anyway, I’ve added this result to the sidebar. I hope we get a wide variety of pollsters weighing in on this race. If nothing else, it would be a nice change from the usually barren polling landscape we face, and it might remind some folks that there is more to life than the UT/Texas Trib poll.