Summer Polls Show Narrow Margins, Many Undecided Voters in Race for Texas Attorney General

UT/Tribune and Lyceum polls both show large percentages of undecided voters in Texas AG race

Polls released over the summer on the November race for Texas attorney general show a narrow margin between leading candidates with many voters still undecided.

According to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released in June, incumbent Republican Ken Paxton was at 32 percent while Democratic nominee Justin Nelson was at 31 percent. Libertarian Michael Ray Harris stood at 6 percent. Four percent of voters polled named other candidates while 26 percent had no opinion.

In July, a statewide Texas Lyceum Poll was released showing a larger margin between the leading candidates; 35 percent of likely voters favoring Paxton and 25 percent choosing Justin Nelson. Harris had 4 percent of that poll. Of those polled, 34 percent answered "haven't thought about it" and 3 percent either didn't know or refused to answer.

Nelson, who spoke with NBC 5 this week, is trying to become attorney general in a state that hasn't elected a Democratic candidate in a statewide race since 1994.

"I am going around the state. We have been everywhere. We just finished a 12-city road trip," Nelson said.

It could be an uphill climb. Attorney General Ken Paxton won by more than 20 percentage points in 2014, but Nelson is quick to point out Paxton's legal troubles since then.

Paxton was indicted for securities fraud. The case has yet to go to trial after several delays. Paxton has said he can't talk about the case because of a gag order.

"This race is going to be integrity versus indictment," Nelson added.

Nelson has a list of goals he hopes to accomplish if elected.

"I want to fight corruption. I want to redouble our efforts to make sure that we are fighting consumer fraud. I want to fight gerrymandering. I want to redouble our efforts to make our child support system work for everyone. That is what the Texas attorney general should be doing," Nelson said.

While Nelson was in Fort Worth Wednesday, while Paxton was in Collin County Monday attending a statewide Republican rally. Paxton, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) all spoke.

"I want to thank you guys for giving me the opportunity that I have had over the last three and a half years," Paxton said Monday.

Paxton remains popular statewide. He has a relationship with the President Donald Trump, and support from Republican officeholders. NBC 5 asked Paxton if he was concerned about a blue wave.

"No, we are going to go out and we have got a great message to sell," Paxton said. "We have done a great job as a leadership team, as a legislature. I think we are doing great."

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