They are the darlings of so-called “right wing” regime media. Yet, for all the free airtime they are given nationally, the latest Quinnipiac poll shows that Texas elected officeholders Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton are in deep trouble going into the GOP primary.
Polling that truly matters to Texans, the statistics reflecting their Texans-only political opinions, are far and few between. Therefore, when a nationally-recognized polling operation does do a poll on in-state politics, no matter the source and its reputation, it’s a worthy exercise to analyze the results.
A Quinnipiac University poll contacted 1,224 Texas registered voters (not likely voters) that were surveyed from December 2nd through December 6th. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 2.8 percentage points.
Gov. Greg Abbott
Of the three, Abbott is in the best position. According to the Q poll his job approval rating sits at a precarious 53%-41% to the good. This is actually an approval from the Q poll of this past September when Abbott was under water in job approval at a 44-47 calculation.
Abbott has three legitimate challengers in the Texas GOP primary gunning for the mansion: Chad Prather, Allen West, and Don Huffines. With those three challengers lobbing grenades at Abbott until Election Day, the erosion of Abbott’s job approval going into the primary could be substantial resulting in a runoff for an Abbott consolation prize. However, a runoff would mean he’s toast and any personal aspirations of the American Presidency or being number two on the Trump ’24 ticket would immediately evaporate.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Devastating. Mr. Patrick registers a job approval rating of 43% and a disapproval of 34%. With 23% clueless on the Lt. Governor, the poll results are more of a reflection of their lack of political knowledge and understanding that this office is more constitutionally powerful in Texas, and they should pay more attention to who holds the office.
At the conclusion of every legislative session Patrick and his lackeys of the senate loudly declare that “it was the most conservative session, ever”, but Texas voters no longer seem to buy in. Along with Abbott, Patrick has earned the reputation of being a “campaign conservative” that bends the knee to his big donors when it’s time to govern. Campaign promises that were made to get him elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018 have yet to be fulfilled. One primary opponent, Daniel Miller, repeatedly notes how silent Patrick has been during the tyrannical and draconian actions taken by Abbott during the Covid-19 panpanic following the lead of other left-wing governors from around the nation until getting into a veep nomination contest with DeSantis of Florida.
Five Republicans have filed to run against Patrick in the 2022 primary making his road to reelection extremely difficult. His saving grace could be his enormous war chest that surpasses the money raised by any Lt. Governor in Texas history. But, he may have to spend every penny of his estimated $25 million in order to survive beyond a primary runoff.
The greatest threat to a Patrick victory is candidate Daniel Miller of Nederland. Miller is the president of the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) which is the largest and preeminent organization that advocates for Texas becoming an independent republic once again. Having established the TNM 15 years ago, Miller enjoys a single-issue voter base of 400,000+ with an organic volunteer corps exceeding 8,000 activists covering every region of the state. The TNM is the largest political organization in Texas besides the two major political parties. A source tells RER that internal polling within the Miller camp shows that GOP primary voters don’t like Patrick but need to merely be made aware that they have another choice in the race to easily draw them away from the camera hound.
The large field of challengers pretty much ensures that Patrick will also be drawn into a runoff in which he’s likely to lose. With his organizational supremacy, Miller is positioned the best to be in a one-on-one contest with the incumbent and is under less pressure to raise copious sums of money because of his ground game.
Attorney General Ken Paxton
Earthquake. According to the Q poll the Texas A.G. has the lowest job approval of all statewide officeholders at 39% except Sen. John Cornyn at 38%. 40% outright disapprove of Paxton’s job performance.
Unlike the United States Attorney General that serves at the pleasure of the President, in Texas the A.G. is an independent office and has the duty to keep other officeholders in constitutional check. Much like Patrick, Paxton has stood by haplessly as Abbott has played the role of King of Texas and apparently the voters have taken note. Many Texans expected Paxton to put the hammer down on Abbott when the governor went so far as to shut down churches, segregated Texas workers, and denied critical surgeries for months in the early days of the panpanic.
The popular Congressman Louie Ghomert has thrown his hat into the ring to replace Paxton. The multi-term east Texas representative possibly smells victory due the scandals that seem to continually swirl around Paxton. Being a member of the U.S. House’s Judiciary Committee it wouldn’t be surprise if Ghomert has some insight into the FBI investigation that Paxton is currently dealing with.
Doubt about the poll results are understandable when one takes into account the track record of polling groups over the recent past election cycles. However, this Q poll shows Abbott holding a 10-point lead over Democrat favorite Beto O’Rourke 47% to 37%. Abbott also leads Beto on every critical issue put to the registered voters sampled within the poll and the numbers aren’t close. “Rigged” polls have a history of consistently reporting Democrat challengers within striking distance of GOP incumbents. One could consider the margin of error when predicting the outcome of a matchup between Abbott vs Beto in a general election, and the conclusion is that Abbott possesses a commanding lead. More importantly, the matchup could be considered a generic surrogate of how the Texas electorate feels toward the major parties, generally.
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