Dallas News: GOP governor nominee Greg Abbott is maintaining a strong lead over Democrat Wendy Davis, as Republican candidates throughout the ballot are in strong positions seven months out from the November election.
A new Public Policy Polling survey of registered voters in Texas shows Abbott leading 51 to 37 percent over Davis. The Fort Worth state senator has seen her negatives increase among voters over the past several months, with now 33 percent having a positive impression of her and 47 percent having a negative view.
While Davis has been fundraising and become more active on the campaign trail in recent weeks, she has yet to place a big TV outlay to introduce herself to voters.
Abbott enjoys a 40 percent positive view with 27 percent having a negative impression.
The survey shows that all Republican candidates are doing well with voters – even Rick Perry, who’s not running for re-election.
For the first time in years, Perry has climbed into the positive stratosphere with 48 percent approving of him, compared to 44 percent who disapprove. That’s up 18 points from two years ago, after his failed presidential bid.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte trails both Republicans in the run-off. Dan Patrick leads her 51 to 35 percent and David Dewhurst leads her by 18 points – 50 to 32 percent.
The margins are similar in the U.S. Senate race, where incumbent John Cornyn leads Democrat David Alameel 49 to 32 percent.
Cornyn’s lead comes even with a low 31 percent approval rate. At best, even Republicans show only tepid support for him, pollsters said.
“There’s one finding in this poll that goes a long way toward explaining all the other ones,” PPP stated.
It’s that only 36 percent of voters in the state approve of the job Barack Obama’s doing to 58 percent who disapprove. “That makes life for Democrats running for office this year a lot more difficult,” pollsters said.
The random telephone poll of 559 registered voters was conducted April 10-13 and has a 4.1 percent margin of error, meaning findings could vary that much in either direction.
UPDATE 2:05 pm: Zac Petkanas, spokesman for Wendy Davis, criticized the methodology of the poll, saying that PPP failed to include voters who exclusively use cell phones instead of land-lines. Cell phones are “important to contacting African-American, Latino and young voters,” Petkanas pointed out. (raaaaacist!)
He also said that Davis is working on energizing qualified people who haven’t voted, which also would knock them out of the poll.