Politics & Government

Texas’ Greg Abbott ranks among the most popular U.S. governors, new poll finds

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to the Economic Freedom Summit at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 27, 2017.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to the Economic Freedom Summit at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 27, 2017. Star-Telegram

Greg Abbott could be a tough target for Texas Democrats in 2018.

A new poll released by Morning Consult, a Washington-based research firm, ranks Abbott as the nation’s seventh most popular governor. Abbott, a Republican, is up for re-election in 2018 but has not drawn a serious primary or general election challenger yet.

Republicans appear to be quite popular throughout the nation’s state capitals, as no Democrat came in among the top 10 most popular governors by approval rating.

Morning Consult conducted the study of 85,000 registered voters across the nation from January to March. Voters were asked to indicate whether they approve of President Donald Trump, their state governors and U.S. senators.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is facing a re-election challenge from Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso and possibly others, fared relatively well in the poll. Cruz has the 36th highest approval rating among the 100 senators, while Sen. John Cornyn is in the bottom quarter, although his 23 percent disapproval rating is lower than Cruz’s 31 percent.

Despite representing Texas since 2002 and occupying a major leadership role as majority whip, Cornyn ranks as the fourth most unknown senator, trailing three who are still in their first terms of office.

The nation’s least popular senator, according to the poll, is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He’s the only senator with a higher disapproval rating than approval rating.

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ranks as the nation’s most popular senator.

McConnell and Sanders also ranked as the least and most popular senators the last time Morning Consult conducted its poll, in September 2016.

Alex Daugherty: 202-383-6049, @alextdaugherty

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