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Texas Governor Abbott Leads O’Rourke by 5 Points in Latest Poll

(Bloomberg) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has a 5-point lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke ahead of November’s election, showing a surprisingly tight race given that no Democrat has won statewide office since 1994.

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Nearly half, or 49%, of likely voters support Abbott, the two-term Republican, versus 44% for former congressman O’Rourke, according to a poll from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston released Wednesday.

The results of the survey are in line with other recent polls that show a fairly close race for Abbott, who beat his last opponent in 2018 by 13 percentage points. While national Democrats are suffering from roaring inflation and President Joe Biden’s unpopularity, Texas progressives think they’ve gained momentum by connecting with voters on issues including gun control and reproductive rights in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre and the Supreme Court’s decision to end the nationwide right to abortion.

Still, top issues cited by likely voters in the governor’s election include inflation, crime and economic growth -- areas where Republicans are generally considered stronger.

The poll of 1,169 registered Texas voters was taken June 27 to July 7 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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