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Texans Split On Whether Gov. Abbott Deserves To Be Reelected, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Democrats Want O'Rourke To Run For Governor, About 4 In 10 Texas Voters Want McConaughey To Run

As Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, seeks reelection next year, voters in the Lone Star State are divided on whether or not he deserves to be reelected as 46 percent say he does and 48 percent say he does not deserve to be reelected, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University poll of registered voters in Texas released today.

Republicans say 82 - 13 percent that Abbott deserves to be reelected, while Democrats say 88 - 11 percent, and independents say 50 - 42 percent he does not deserve to be reelected.

"A Trump favorite in a state that is turning less red in recent election cycles, Abbott has a decent but in no way overwhelming grasp on reelection," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

With former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, not ruling out a possible gubernatorial run in 2022, voters overall say 52 - 41 percent they would not like to see him run for governor. Democrats say 77 - 14 percent they do want to see O'Rourke run for governor, independents are divided saying 50 - 45 percent they do not want to see him run, and Republicans say 89 - 6 percent they do not want to see O'Rourke run.

Another name gaining attention for a possible gubernatorial run is Matthew McConaughey, the actor and Texas native. His political party affiliation is unclear. While 41 percent of voters say they would like to see him run, 47 percent say they would not like to see him run. Independents and Democrats are split, as independents say 47 - 43 percent and Democrats say 44 - 43 percent they would like to see him run. Republicans say 60 - 29 percent they would not like to see him run.

"The camera loves them, but do they have the star power and the political chops to corral the big job in Austin? McConaughey and O'Rourke may still be on the fence, but their numbers suggest they have the attention of voters," added Malloy.


Governor Greg Abbott receives a mixed job approval rating as 48 percent of Texas voters approve of the job he's doing and 46 percent disapprove. This is little changed from his 48 - 44 percent job approval rating in July of 2020. Today's disapproval rating is the highest for Abbott since being elected in 2018. Other job approvals are mostly mixed...

  • Texas State Legislature: 41 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove, with 12 percent not offering an opinion;
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: 41 percent approve, 39 percent disapprove, with 20 percent not offering an opinion;
  • Sen. Ted Cruz: 46 percent approve, 49 percent disapprove, with 5 percent not offering an opinion;
  • Sen. John Cornyn: 41 percent approve, 42 percent disapprove, with 17 percent not offering an opinion;
  • President Joe Biden: 45 percent approve, 50 percent disapprove, with 5 percent not offering an opinion.


Gov. Abbott and Matthew McConaughey get the highest favorability ratings among names of elected officials, candidates, or potential candidates in races for either Governor of Texas or Texas Attorney General. Voters say...

  • Greg Abbott: 49 percent favorable, 43 percent unfavorable, 7 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Matthew McConaughey: 42 percent favorable, 20 percent unfavorable, 36 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Beto O'Rourke: 34 percent favorable, 42 percent unfavorable, 23 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Ken Paxton: 29 percent favorable, 32 percent unfavorable, 38 percent haven't heard enough;
  • George P. Bush: 26 percent favorable, 27 percent unfavorable, 46 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Allen West: 25 percent favorable, 10 percent unfavorable, 65 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Sid Miller: 12 percent favorable, 9 percent unfavorable, 78 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Eva Guzman: 10 percent favorable, 8 percent unfavorable, 81 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Lee Merritt: 9 percent favorable, 5 percent unfavorable, 85 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Don Huffines: 8 percent favorable, 8 percent unfavorable, 83 percent haven't heard enough;
  • Joe Jaworski: 4 percent favorable, 8 percent unfavorable, 87 percent haven't heard enough.


Voters were asked about Governor Abbott and President Biden's handling of three issues: the coronavirus, the economy, and the situation at the Mexican border. Texas voters approve of the way Biden is handling the coronavirus 58 - 37 percent, and approve of the way Abbott is handling it 53 - 45 percent. Abbott gets the thumbs up on his handling of the economy, as voters approve 56 - 39 percent, while Biden's handling of the economy earns him a negative 44 - 53 percent approval rating. When it comes to the situation at the Mexican border, voters are split on Abbott's handling, with 47 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving. Voters give Biden a negative approval rating on his handling of the situation at the Mexican border, 29 - 64 percent.


In the wake of Governor Abbott proposing that Texas build a wall along the state's border with Mexico, voters are divided on the idea, with 50 percent supporting the building of a wall and 46 percent opposing it. There are sharp political divides as Republicans support building a wall 89 - 8 percent, Democrats oppose it 83 - 14 percent, and independents are divided with 52 percent opposing building a wall and 46 percent supporting it.

On Governor Abbott's statement that he wants to arrest people who cross the Mexican border illegally, a majority of Texas voters, 55 - 38 percent, say that it's a good idea. Republicans say 89 - 6 percent and independents say 52 - 44 percent that it's a good idea. Democrats say 71 - 21 percent that it's a bad idea.

"Pick them up and lock them up. While it's a toss-up on whether to buy into the Trumpian 'If we build it, they won't come' border wall idea, there is far less ambivalence from registered voters about arresting immigrants who breach the border," added Malloy.

1,099 Texas registered voters were surveyed from June 15th - 21st with a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Doug Schwartz, Ph.D. since 1994, conducts independent, non-partisan national and state polls on politics and issues. Surveys adhere to industry best practices and are based on random samples of adults using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones.

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