Texas voters are divided on Gov. Greg Abbott’s push to build a wall along his state’s border with Mexico and are split over whether the two-term Republican governor deserves to be reelected next year, according to a new poll.
The survey from Quinnipiac University also indicates that a majority of Texans don’t want former Rep. Beto O’Rourke to run for governor next year – and a plurality don’t favor a campaign by actor Matthew McConaughey.
ABBOTT LAUNCHES TEXAS BORDER WALL PROJECT WITH $250 MILLION ‘DOWN PAYMENT’
With President Biden’s administration halting construction of a wall along the southern border that was begun under President Trump, Abbott last week announced that Texas would provide a down payment of $250 million to build its own wall.
The poll indicates that 50% of Texan voters support Abbott’s proposal, with 46% opposed. As expected, there’s a huge partisan divide, with 89% of Republicans supporting the governor’s push and 83% of Democrats opposed.
The poll was released on Wednesday, a couple of hours after the announcement that Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the U.S.-Mexican border on Friday, after weeks of GOP criticism over a lack of visit by the vice president, who heads up the Biden administration’s efforts to stem the surge of migrants from Central America into the U.S. Next week Abbott will join Trump in making a trip to the southern border.
While Texans are divided on the governor’s border wall proposal, the poll indicates that by a 55%-38% margin, they support Abbott’s push to arrest people who illegally cross the border into the Lone Star State.
Texans are split on how Abbott’s handling the overall situation at the border, with 47% approving and 46% disapproving. But Biden’s well under water on the issue among Texas voters, with 29% approval and 64% disapproval.
CRUZ SAYS MCCONAUGHEY WOULD BE ‘FORMIDABLE CANDIDATE’ IF HE RUNS FOR GOVERNOR
Abbott’s overall approval/disapproval job rating stands at 48%-46%, little changed from a year ago in Quinnipiac polling. Asked whether Abbott deserves reelection in the longtime reliably red state of Texas – which has become more competitive in recent years – 46% said yes and 48% said no.
“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,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said.
But only 41% want O’Rourke to make a gubernatorial run in 2022, with 52% opposed. O’Rourke, who narrowly lost his 2018 Democratic challenge against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz before launching an unsuccessful bid for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination, is mulling a run for governor. Just over three-quarters of Democrats would like to see O’Rourke run, with nearly nine out of 10 Republicans opposed and independents divided.
Texas native and famous actor Matthew McConaughey is grabbing national attention as he flirts with a gubernatorial run. Forty-one percent of those questioned in the poll said they’d like to see McConaughey – who’s party affiliation is unclear – run for governor, with 47% opposed.
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“McConaughey and O’Rourke may still be on the fence, but their numbers suggest they have the attention of voters,” Malloy noted.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted June 15-21, with 1,099 registered voters in Texas questioned. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.