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Northeast Times | October 20, 2021

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Internal survey: Davis trails Abbott by single digits

Internal survey: Davis trails Abbott by single digits

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis is trailing Republican opponent Greg Abbott by single digits for the first time this year in her campaign’s internal polling, according to a copy of it obtained by the Chronicle.

The Davis campaign’s latest survey, which was conducted last week, shows her taking 38 percent of the vote to Abbott’s 46 percent. A Rasmussen poll released last month also found Davis down by 8 percentage points.

Davis has narrowed Abbott’s lead by nearly two-thirds since January, when her campaign’s internal survey showed him up by 23 points. He led her by 11 in May and 12 in August, according to her campaign’s private polling.

The September survey is the first one Davis’ campaign did since launching a series of TV ads attacking Abbott. The first commercial, which started airing Aug. 8, has drawn the most attention, accusing Abbott of “siding with a corporation over a victim of rape” as a state Supreme Court justice.

A document summarizing the Davis campaign’s internal numbers this year shows the January survey is the only one in which Abbott garnered more than half the vote. The document’s headline reads, ”Davis Chipping Away At Abbott Vote As He Falls Below Critical 50% Mark.”

The Davis campaign’s internal poll suggests a much closer race than a private survey done by Abbott’s people during the last week of August. The Abbott campaign’s internal numbers, which were shared with donors earlier this month, had him beating Davis by 18 points. Most public polls this year have found Abbott leading Davis by double digits.

Davis spokesman Zac Petkanas said the campaign does not comment on internal surveys. Davis pollster Joel Benenson has said the campaign’s private polling shows the race is “very much within striking distance.”

For her campaign’s latest internal survey, Davis’ pollsters interviewed 800 Texans who are likely to vote this year. The survey, which was done from Sept. 2-4, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 points.

Staff writer Peggy Fikac contributed to this report.