texas primary

Governor's Race Tightening According to New DMN/UT-Tyler Poll

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott holds a 45% to 38% lead over Democrat challenger Beto O'Rourke in the latest polling for the general election in November

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Who is on Your Ballot?
See March 1 Primary Ballots, by county and party, below.
Democrat: Collin | Dallas | Denton | Tarrant
Republican: Collin | Dallas | Denton | Tarrant | Party Propositions

New polling from the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler shows the number of undecided voters shrinking as we near the March 1 primary.

And the race for governor in the fall may be heating up too.

With just nine days until the March primary, the preferences for engaged voters heading to the polls may be coming into sharper focus and that could mean a longer campaign for incumbent Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton, seeking a third term, needs 50% plus one to avoid a May 24 runoff.

The latest Dallas Morning News / UT-Tyler poll finds Paxton with a 39% to 25% lead over Land Commissioner George P Bush with Eva Guzman at 7% and Tyler Congressman Louie Gohmert at 6%.

Robert T. Garrett with The Dallas Morning News joins NBC 5 to discuss the latest polling for the March Primary Election.

Matthew Wilson, an SMU Political Science professor, added a runoff seems more likely because in the poll conducted Feb. 8 - 15 found 16% of GOP voters indicated they are undecided.

“When you’re facing three credible challengers within your own party it’s difficult to avoid a runoff,” Wilson said.

Texas already has seven days of early voting complete in races that typically are decided by a relatively small amount of the most passionate Republican and Democrat voters.

And what about November?

Both Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Democrat challenger Beto O’Rourke have comfortable primary leads but their head-to-head comparison this fall may be tightening.

A DMN/UT-Tyler poll released three weeks ago found Abbott with an 11-percentage point advantage that has now contracted to 45% to 38% over the former El Paso congressman.

However, the polling indicates Abbott’s lead over O’Rourke has consistently stayed between 5% and 12% for months.

“Unless you see a really significant move from one poll to the other, there’s some possibility that it really is just a fluctuation based on random chance,” Wilson said.

IMPORTANT ELECTION DATES

  • April 25 -- Last day to register to vote in primary runoffs.
  • April 25 -- Early voting begins for May 7 uniform election.
  • April 26 -- Last day to apply for a ballot by mail for May 7 election.
  • May 3 -- Early voting ends for May 7 uniform election.
  • May 7 -- Uniform election
  • May 9 -- Mail-in ballots must be received by 5 p.m. if the envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day.
  • May 13 -- The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary runoff (request received, not postmarked).
  • May 16 -- Early voting begins for the primary runoff.
  • May 20 -- Early voting ends for the primary runoff.
  • May 24 -- Primary runoffs. Mail-in ballots that are not postmarked must be received by 7 p.m.
  • May 25 -- Mail-in ballots must be received by 5 p.m. if the envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day.
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