DALLAS — According to the latest UT/Texas Politics Project poll, incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s lead over Democrat Beto O’Rourke is down to just six points, 45% to 39%.
Republican political consultant Matt Mackowiak says the current margin comes while public debate is raging over gun control, the overturning of Roe v. Wade and border politics.
“You add all that up and you can see why Abbott may be taking on a little bit of water at the moment,” Mackowiak said on Inside Texas Politics.
Mackowiak, who is also chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, is also quick to point out that we’re still in the dog days of summer. And he says during those months, polls sample registered voters, not likely voters.
The Republican strategist says he’ll be watching whether the Dobbs decision motivates Democrats to turn out in numbers this November, or if the Uvalde massacre significantly shifts the gun debate in Texas.
He thinks both issues will only change opinion in the short term.
Watch the segment below:
“I still believe that Abbott is going to win by a pretty solid margin, eight points on the low end, 12 points on the high end. It depends a lot on what the fall looks like,” the Republican said. “Beto has narrowed the gap a little bit. And that does present a scenario where the race could potentially be competitive.”
Mackowiak says if Democrats pivot back to talking about the economy, it will be a sign they think their strategy isn’t working. And he says they’ve never had success in Texas while running statewide on a gun control platform.
“It just doesn’t work in Texas. I’m sort of dubious that Uvalde is going to somehow change decades and decades and decades of public opinion on that issue, at least voter opinion on that issue,” said Mackowiak.