Rasmussen: Abbott 48, Davis 40

Make of it what you will.

Sen. Wendy Davis

Sen. Wendy Davis

The gubernatorial race in Texas is slightly closer than it was earlier this year.

A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Texas Voters finds Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott picking up 48% of the vote to Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis’ 40%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, while nine percent (9%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In our first look at the race in March, Abbott led Davis by 12 points – 53% to 41%.

Texas moves from Safe Republican to Leans Republican on the Rasmussen Reports’ 2014 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

Both candidates are backed by 86% of voters in their respective parties. Abbott leads 43% to 35% among unaffiliated voters, compared to 50% to 37% in March.

Abbott continues to hold a double-digit lead among men, 52% to 35%. But while Davis held a 12-point lead among women in March, the two candidates are now tied among these voters.

I hadn’t realized Rasmussen had polled in March; if there was any news coverage of it, I missed it. Both results are on the sidebar now. It’s nice to see a trendline in Davis’ favor but I’m not going to hang too much on that, especially when it all comes from Abbott losing a few points of support, which could mean little more than a higher number of his likely supporters saying “I don’t know” this time around. Rasmussen doesn’t provide crosstabs, so we can’t say for sure what that’s about. While Ras notes Davis’ loss of support among women from their March result to this one, you have to click the link for their March poll to see that she made a big gain among men, going from down 66-29 to down 52-35. I doubt either of these represent much more than odd fluctuations among smaller subsamples. Again, I’m not going to make too much of this – no more than I did of the less friendly Internet polls – but I do wonder if this one will attract any coverage, as that YouGov poll did, and if it will change even slightly the narrative from “Davis trails Abbott by double digits” to “Davis trails Abbott by double digits in most polls” or something more favorable to her. We’ll see about that. (And just as I was writing that, Texas Politics posted about the poll, followed a bit later by the SA Current and finally the Austin Chronicle. One daily paper blog post, two alt-weeklies, so far.)

Finally, Ras also polled the Senate race, showing Big John Cornyn leading David Alameel by a score of 47-29. You can credit that bigger lead almost entirely to Davis’ much higher name recognition than Alameel’s. We don’t have the crosstabs, but I’d bet a non-trivial amount of money that they show a much greater proportion of Dem-friendly demographics going “don’t know/no answer” on Alameel than they did on Davis. Cornyn’s equivalent level of support to Abbott is the tell here.

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