Jul 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Texas governor's net coronavirus approval rating falls 21 points as cases surge

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in May.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in May. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

48% of polled registered voters in Texas disapprove of Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while 47% approve, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Why it matters: Abbott's net approval rating for his administration's COVID-19 response has slipped by 21 points since early June, when 56% of voters approved of his response and 36% disapproved.

  • Texas has reported more than 270,000 new cases and 2,473 deaths due to the virus since June 1, according to data from the state's Health and Human Services Department.
  • Abbott lifted Texas' stay-at-home order in April, one of the first governors in the country to do so. As infections surged in June, Abbott expressed regret at reopening bars and restaurants and urged Texans to stay home.

By the numbers: 52% of polled voters say they believe Abbott reopened the economy "too quickly," while 33% said he reopened the economy "at about the right pace." Meanwhile, 13% said he did it "too slowly."

  • 76% said they think Abbott's executive order closing bars throughout the state is effective in preventing the virus from spreading further, while 80% approve of his decision to mandate face masks in public.
  • 53% responded that they believe the governor should refrain from issuing a statewide stay-at-home order, but 68% of said the governor should allow local officials to issue stay-at-home orders for their areas.

The big picture: 45% of voters polled said they would vote for Joe Biden while 44% said they back Trump — yet another result that suggests that Texas will be a swing state in November's presidential election.

  • A majority of voters said they believe Biden would do a better job handling the coronavirus (48%-45%) and addressing racial inequality (51%-39%) than Trump.
  • A majority (56%-40%) said Trump would do a better job at improving the economy.

Methodology: This poll was conducted between July 16-2 among 880 self-identified registered voters in Texas with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.

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