Progressive network MSNBC heavily promoted new polling courtesy of Emerson College Polling Society late Tuesday proclaiming that Texas Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis was “within striking range” of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Further examination of the polling data reveals that despite the heads-up data point, Democrats have a long way to go before daring to be excited in Texas.
General Abbott’s pattern of uplifting web and television ads urging voters to “keep Texas moving in the right direction,” is proving to not just be a cute play on words. According to the poll, roughly 51 percent confirmed Texas was indeed on the right track–compared to 30 percent claiming otherwise. Such a figure stands in stark contrast to the national RealClearPolitics average of 28.6 percent claiming right track.
While progressive media claim Davis to be in “striking range,” she remains underwater on general approval. Roughly 50 percent of Texans either maintain a negative opinion of Davis or have never heard of her. Nearly 10 percent are undecided on their favorability. Statewide executive incumbents Gov. Rick Perry and General Abbott both boast overall favorability of at least 48 percent each.
Voter predictions offered in the poll should send chills up the spine of every Democratic county chair vested with get-out-the-vote responsibilities. When asked who will win the election–regardless of their personal preference–only 25 percent of respondents believed Wendy Davis could prevail.
The poll offers slightly more cause for celebration among conservative ranks with respect to abortion. Team pro-life maintains a relatively commanding lead with 44 percent of voters–but there are some shades of grey. Whereas 33.8 percent of respondents argued that abortion should only be allowed in the case of rape, incest or protection of the mother–30.6 percent drew the line at the beginning of the third trimester. An additional 12 percent stood their ground claiming no exceptions.
Respondents clearly indicated that standard Democratic platform issues would not serve Davis well. Given that Texas is home to more drilling rigs than anywhere else in North America, it is no surprise that fracking techniques enjoyed nearly 68 percent approval. Roughly 95 percent of voters expressed confidence in having a valid form of voter ID. More than 62 percent do not see climate change as a serious threat. Happy Obamacare customers remain thin with 74 percent reporting no involvement with the Marketplace. Immigration reform remains a wash issue.
While the tweeting political class took great delight in trading barbs over Davis’ botched retelling of her life story or Abbott’s utilizing Ted Nugent on the trail, regular voters did not register much care for either matter. Nearly 44 percent remain unsure on what to make of Davis’ rags to riches personal narrative while almost 45 percent of voters could care less about Nugent.
The poll performed by Emerson College Polling Society ran from March 7 to March 12 with 494 total respondents.
Follow Logan Churchwell on Twitter @LCChurchwell