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Texas Governor - Abbott vs. Davis

Candidates

Greg Abbott

Greg Abbott (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Texas Snapshot

RCP Average:
RCP Ranking: Likely GOP
2014 Key Races: Senate | TX-23 | TX-34

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2012President | SenateTX-14 | TX-23
2010Gov | TX-15 | TX-17 | TX-23 | TX-25 | TX-27
2008: President | Senate | TX-22
2006: Governor | Senate | TX-22
2004: President | TX-19 | TX-32

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEAbbott (R)Davis (D)Spread
Final Results------59.338.9Abbott +20.4
RCP Average9/22 - 10/23----52.735.7Abbott +17.0
CBS News/NYT/YouGov10/16 - 10/233987 LV3.05737Abbott +20
UT/Texas Tribune*10/10 - 10/19866 LV3.35438Abbott +16
KHOU/Houston Public Media9/22 - 10/16781 LV3.54732Abbott +15

All Texas Governor - Abbott vs. Davis Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
Texas Governor - Abbott vs. Davis
52.7Abbott (R)+17.0
35.7Davis (D)
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Race Analysis

The rise of the Republican Party in Texas is a fascinating tale of how one party consistently bit off its nose to spite its face. Texas always had a small Republican Party in the panhandle, in the German counties north of San Antonio (which even sent a Republican to Congress in the 1920s), and later, in the growing suburbs of Dallas and Houston. But the two-party system mostly played out within the Democratic Party. It was divided between conservative Tory Democrats, who plotted to depose Franklin Roosevelt as the nominee in 1944 and who supported President Eisenhower in the 1950s, and the liberal Democrats.

When LBJ was elected vice president, a conservative Democrat was appointed to replace him. In the ensuing special election, liberal Democrats opted either to stay home or to cast a protest vote for Republican John Tower, whom they figured they could easily defeat in an ensuing election. The same dynamic played out in 1966, and by 1972 Tory Democrats were defecting to the Republican Party, while the native Republican base in the suburbs continued to grow. This began to spill over into gubernatorial elections, with Democrat Dolph Briscoe winning by only three points in 1972, and Republican Bill Clements finally defeating state Attorney General John Luke Hill in 1978.

Republicans and Democrats alternated control of the governorship from 1978 through 1994, but today the Republicans have controlled the governorship for 20 straight years. The GOP has grown to majority status and has its own split between a conservative/populist wing and an establishment wing. In 2006, that split manifested in a four-way race for governor, where two Republicans faced off against two Democrats in the general election. (Two ran as independent candidates, though both were clearly affiliated with a major party.) Gov. Rick Perry, the successor to George W. Bush, won with 39 percent of the vote.  But both wings seem to have coalesced around state Attorney General Greg Abbott this year.  Democrats were initially excited about the candidacy of state Sen. Wendy Davis, who drew national attention after filibustering an abortion restriction bill in 2013, but her candidacy hasn’t really taken off. There’s still time for her to win, but it is running short.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEAbbott (R)Davis (D)Spread
Final Results------59.338.9Abbott +20.4
RCP Average9/22 - 10/23----52.735.7Abbott +17.0
CBS News/NYT/YouGov10/16 - 10/233987 LV3.05737Abbott +20
UT/Texas Tribune*10/10 - 10/19866 LV3.35438Abbott +16
KHOU/Houston Public Media9/22 - 10/16781 LV3.54732Abbott +15
Rasmussen Reports10/1 - 10/2840 LV3.55140Abbott +11
CBS News/NYT/YouGov9/20 - 10/14177 LV2.05440Abbott +14
Texas Lyceum*9/11 - 9/25666 LV3.84940Abbott +9
CBS News/NYT/YouGov8/18 - 9/24189 LV2.05638Abbott +18
Rasmussen Reports8/4 - 8/5850 LV3.54840Abbott +8
CBS News/NYT/YouGov7/5 - 7/244320 RV--5437Abbott +17
UT/Texas Tribune*5/30 - 6/81200 RV2.84432Abbott +12
PPP (D)4/10 - 4/13559 RV4.15137Abbott +14
Rasmussen Reports3/3 - 3/4500 LV4.55341Abbott +12
UT/Texas Tribune2/7 - 2/171200 RV2.84736Abbott +11
PPP (D)11/1 - 11/4500 RV4.45035Abbott +15
UT/Texas Tribune10/18 - 10/271200 RV2.84034Abbott +6
Texas Lyceum9/6 - 9/20798 RV3.52921Abbott +8
PPP (D)6/28 - 7/1500 RV4.44840Abbott +8
PPP (D)1/24 - 1/27500 RV4.44634Abbott +12