A new statewide poll released Wednesday shows Republican Greg Abbott with an eight-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the Texas governor’s race.
The poll, conducted by the Texas Lyceum, shows Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, leading with 29 percent. Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat, has 21 percent.
But most registered voters don’t know who will get their vote – 50 percent are undecided.
Davis, a state senator, gained national fame over the summer when she filibustered for 11 hours against an abortion bill that would ban most abortions in Texas. She has yet to formally announce her intentions to run, although that’s expected to happen on Thursday.
Among women who were polled, Abbott and Davis are in a statistical tie, 25 percent to 23 percent.
Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University, told The Texas Tribune that he found the gender gap “intriguing.” Davis needs support of white suburban women in order to be competitive, observers say.
It’s been almost two decades since a Democrat has held a statewide seat in Texas, and political analysts like Jillson don’t think Davis can alter that trend.
“The Republicans have had a very steady eight to 12 to 16 point advantage,” Jillson told KERA’s Shelley Kofler last month. “And the fact that she made a wonderful filibuster speech and is potentially an attractive candidate doesn’t close a 15 point gap.”