AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott is the most popular state leader in Texas according to a new poll, while Attorney General Ken Paxton and Speaker of the House Dade Phelan are both underwater in approval ratings.
The new poll, by the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project, surveyed 1,200 registered voters between Oct. 5 and 17.
Of the four main state leaders — Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Phelan and Paxton — Abbott has the highest approval rating, at 49%, nine points higher than the 40% who say they disapprove of the job he is doing as governor.
The nine-point margin is the best approval rating Abbott has seen since June 2020. Just two months ago, the margin was zero, with 45% of voters approving and 45% disapproving.
Abbott previously hit an approval rating high in both October 2019 and April 2020, with a margin of 24 points. His low point came in August 2021, when his approval margin fell to -9 points.
Patrick has also seen a marked improvement over the past two months, with 40% of poll respondents saying they approve of the job he is doing, while 35% disapprove. Those numbers were swapped in the August poll.
Patrick’s approval margin is lower than in April though, when 42% approved and 36% disapproved. Patrick’s ratings have seen large fluctuations since the start of the year.
The lieutenant governor’s high point came in October 2018, when his approval margin was 13 points. His low point came in August 2021, when his margin dropped to -9 points.
Both Paxton and Phelan’s disapproval ratings shot up after Paxton was impeached by the Texas House on 20 articles in May.
Phelan’s approval margin went from 2 points in April to -11 by August. In the new October poll, his approval margin sits at -9 points.
Paxton’s approval margin fell even further, from four points in April to -19 in August. He has since cut that margin in half, currently sitting at -9 points in the October poll, after the Senate acquitted him in September.
The poll also looked at the approval ratings of Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn. Meanwhile, the poll found Trump has a wide margin among Republican primary candidates heading into the 2024 election.