3 reasons why O’Rourke could defeat Abbott in November
Beto O’Rourke Polls: Are the polls or any data suggesting Beto could beat Abbott?
Beto O’Rourke Polls: Greg Abbott Approval ratings are in poor shape
% of voters who disapprove of Governor Abbott (2022 Polls were before the Uvalde Shooting)
The last read of Abbott’s performance was in April, 47% of voters approved of his job as Governor. Abbott’s worst ratings were in August 2021 when Abbott asked for delays in elective surgeries in Texan hospitals. He further announced the following
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will be utilizing staffing agencies to provide medical personnel from out-of-state to Texas health care facilities to assist in COVID-19 operations
In February 2021, the Texas power grid failure led to the deaths of 100s of Texans and Billions in Losses. In a single month, Abbott’s Disapprove ratings increased by 4% points.
Shooting Incidents and change in Governor’s approval ratings in the subsequent month
|Incident||Greg Abbott Approval Poll Period||Net Approval|
|Santa Fe High School, May 2018||Feb 18 vs June 18||+15% vs +11%|
|Midland Odessa Shooting + El Paso Shooting, Aug 2019||June 19 vs Oct 19||+21% vs +24%|
|West Freeway Church Shooting, Dec 2019||Oct 19 vs Feb 20||+24% vs +14%|
|Robb Elementary Shooting, May 2022||April 22 vs ?||+6% vs ?|
The Robb Elementary shooting came at a vulnerable time for the Governor who has been on a recovery path since September 2021. The Robb Elementary shooting is likely to push the Governor’s disapproval ratings to about 46-47%
Abbott vs O’Rourke Polls: O’Rourke isn’t struggling on critical issues
In a Dallas Morning News – UT of Tyler poll published in early May, Abbott led Beto by a comfortable 7% points. But what was revealed underneath could be problematic for Governor Greg Abbott.
|Greg Abbot’s Handling of Immigration at the border with Mexico||45%|
|Trust Abbott more than O’Rourke to implement policies at the border with Mexico||41%|
|Trust O’Rourke more than Abbott to implement policies at the border with Mexico||42%|
|% of Independent voters who trust neither Rourke nor Abbott||24%|
On the key issue of immigration, Greg Abbott doesn’t seem to be doing extremely well nor is he outperforming O’Rourke.
About 11% of Texan Voters classify themselves as Independent and another 38% classify themselves as Democrats. Beto needs to a 2-3% swing from Biden’s numbers or a 2% swing from his own numbers in 2018. More than that, he needs to mobilize his voters aggressively if he wants to increase his chances in November.
Abbott vs O’Rourke Polls: O’Rourke is rising on Google and Social Media
Google tends to give a pretty accurate picture of the momentum in an election and what we know for sure is that Governor Abbott led Beto by 26% in the share of Google Searches a week before Uvalde. Abbott leads Beto by just 4% now. Social media sentiment towards Governor Abbott has deteriorated during this period.
Beto vs Abbott Polls: Conclusions
- Governor Abbott is in trouble not just because of Uvalde but a series of missteps starting in 2020
- The Uvalde shootings have damaged Governor Abbott’s recovery in the minds of voters
- Beto is quite competitive on immigration, an issue most Democrats tend to struggle with across the country
- Beto’s passionate attacks on Abbott post-Uvalde have helped him get noticed on a critical issue that impacts many voters
Major challenges for Beto: How does he deal with GOP attacks on the Democrats on account of the soaring inflation? Are Independent voters ready for a change in Texas and will Beto be able to mobilize them on election day? We wait for the next round of Greg Abbott Betto O’Rourke Polls to understand how voters could vote in November.
In sum, Beto has a higher chance to win the election in November than he did a month ago. But the GOP has quite a few tricks in the bag to stop the Beto momentum.