Wendy Davis Gains Ground in TX Gov Race, Trails Greg Abbott by Only 5 Points

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll out Monday shows Greg Abbott at 40 percent to Wendy Davis' 35 percent, with second-time Libertarian candidate Kathie Glass garnering 5 percent. A full 20 percent of voters are still undecided. An early October poll from Texas Lyceum showed Davis trailing by eight — 29-21 — with 50 percent of voters saying they had not yet decided.

In a head-to-head race with Abbott, Davis trails by six points, 40-34 percent.

"What you've got is a race in which, for the first time in a long time, the Democrat is as well-known as the Republican at the outset of the race," said poll co-director Daron Shaw, a University of Texas at Austin government professor.

In the Republican Gubernatorial primary, Greg Abbott holds 50 percent of the vote, which is not an incredibly impressive showing for a statewide official in office for more than 10 years. Nonetheless, he leads his four opponents handily and is likely to win the nomination.

However, should Pauken win the GOP nomination, Wendy Davis would be in the lead for the general election. In a three-way race with Tom Pauken and Kathie Glass, Davis wins with 36 percent of the vote to 33 percent for Pauken and 6 percent for Glass.

The favorability numbers are also looking good for Senator Davis.

A June UT/TT survey, before her filibuster, had 58 percent of Texans having no opinion of or not knowing her, with 11 percent favorable and 12 percent unfavorable. Now, 37 percent have a favorable impression of Davis, 31 percent have an unfavorable one, and 16 percent have no opinion of her. Abbott now holds 36 percent favorability to 24 percent unfavorability, with 18 percent not knowing who he is.

That's right: Davis is more well-known that Abbott.

"We're so used to [seeing] the Republican gubernatorial candidate running from a position of incumbency," pollster and UT government professor Jim Henson said. "Greg Abbott, while well-known, is not a household name. At least the race starts that way. That was evident before the rise of Wendy Davis, and it's a stark contrast now that she has become so well-known in the wake of the filibuster."

What's clear is that as voters pay more attention to the race and begin to choose sides, Davis is rising.

That's exactly what a Davis supporter hopes to see.

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