New Poll Puts Texas Gov Race in Single-Digits, But...

…it has a lot of screwy results within.

The eighth annual Texas Lyceum poll is out, and at first blush it appears to hold some good news for Democrat governor challenger Wendy Davis. According to the poll, Republican Greg Abbott leads Davis by just nine points, 49 to 40.


The same poll finds that the race for lieutenant governor is much wider, with Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick leading Democrat state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte by a whopping 14 points, 47% to 33%.

Elsewhere on the ballot, Sen. John Cornyn leads his Democratic challenger by 18 points. But Republicans only lead Democrats on the generic congressional ballot by 11 points, 46 to 35 percent.

In the guts of the poll, though, things get a little bit weird.

In the governor’s race, Abbot (R) leads Davis (D) among both genders. He leads among women by 2 points, and by men by 17 points. Yet his total lead is only 9 points?

Nationally, President Barack Obama’s approval rating is in the low 40s or high 30s. The RealClearPolitics average has him right around 41.6%.

Obama has never been popular in Texas. He lost here to John McCain in 2008, 55-43%, and to Mitt Romney in 2012, 57-41%. The president’s popularity is not increasing now, either in Texas or nationally.

Yet the Lyceum poll has Obama at 48% overall approval — in Texas. That’s on page four of the Lyceum poll results. It suggests that Democrats are being oversampled. Obama has never reached that level of popularity when Texans actually vote. He even lost the Democratic primary here to Hillary Clinton in 2008. He took away more delegates than Clinton because the Texas Democrats employ their screwy two-step primary-caucus system, and Obama’s organization overcame Clinton’s in the caucus portion of the show.


It wouldn’t be the first time that the Lyceum poll has published results that skewed a little bit left of reality.

In 2011, a Lyceum poll held that President Obama’s approval rating, in Texas, was at 51%. Go ahead and laugh.

But we’ve already mentioned how the votes went for Obama in both 2008 and 2012. Add to that, a month before that 2011 Lyceum poll, a Texas Tribune poll put the president’s approval rating in Texas at just 35%.

Could Obama really have lost by 12 points in 2008, hit 35% in 2011 according to one poll, suddenly jumped to 51% in 2011 in another poll, and then lose Texas by 16 points in 2012? Sure, it’s possible, but how likely is it?

There have been two governor debates in Texas. Davis trails in a red state and had to use those moments to elevate herself as a candidate and do significant damage to Abbott. She failed to do that in both debates, offering instead attacks that have fallen flat and outbursts that have been preserved on YouTube. Watch them on the next page.

Davis has admitted that she would impose Obamacare, which has never been popular in Texas, by fiat if she was governor. Davis has admitted that she supports the entire Obama agenda, which is not popular in Texas. During Tuesday night’s debate, Davis had the opportunity to tell Texans how much her education plan would cost, and she refused to answer that simple question all three times she was asked, as Mike Hashimoto noted at the Dallas Morning News.


The above facts suggest that Davis has done nothing to build up any momentum or put this race within striking distance.



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