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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.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Oct 29, 2020 - Science

Pandemic scrambles Americans' acceptance of science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic is throwing a wrench into Americans' understanding of science, which has big implications for climate change.

Driving the news: Recent focus groups in battleground states suggest some voters are more skeptical of scientists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while surveys reveal the persistence of a deep partisan divide.

Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

In the final week before Election Day, new coronavirus infections have soared to an all-time high — virtually guaranteeing that the pandemic will be the most prominent issue in America as voters prepare to choose the next president.

The big picture: Cases are surging and local hospitals are straining at the very moment that voters are choosing between President Trump, who continues to insist that the pandemic is almost over, and Joe Biden, who has made the crisis a centerpiece of his campaign.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.