Texas Attorney General Race a potential toss-up with 8% undecided new poll shows

The new WFAA/Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll gives AG Paxton a 5% lead but with a larger percentage still undecided.

DALLAS — While the new WFAA/Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll shows Texas Republicans leading every statewide race, the Democratic challenger for Texas Attorney General sees a glimmer of hope in her numbers.

Governor Greg Abbott leads challenger Beto O’Rourke by a margin of 51% to 44% with 3% of likely voters saying they are still undecided. But in the race for Attorney General between Republican incumbent Ken Paxton and Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza, the 47% to 42% margin shows 8% of likely voters remain undecided.

“There are a larger number of people in this particular race that are still unsure who they are going to vote for,” said Regina Montoya, a board member of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation. Montoya is also a volunteer on Garza’s finance committee. “And that’s because they don’t know either of the candidates as well.” 

Montoya says younger voters, who don’t normally turn out in big numbers for a midterm election – will be key.

“And if Rochelle Garza is able to get her message out to that population that hasn’t traditionally voted, that might not even be covered by polls at this point, that could be the margin of victory when it’s this small a difference,” Montoya said.

SMU political science professor Cal Jillson says name recognition can go both ways: Attorney General Ken Paxton with negative name recognition while Rochelle Garza with simply not enough statewide name recognition.

“Well I think it is baggage,” Jillson said of Paxton. “He’s not leading by quite as much as say, Lt. Governor Patrick or Governor Abbott. People do have reservations about Ken Paxton as well they should until those investigations clear up. He’s under a cloud.”

“The problem that Rochelle Garza has,” Jillson said, “is while she is an attractive articulate candidate, she doesn’t have enough money to present herself to an electorate that doesn’t know very much about her.”

Transparency USA shows Rochelle Garza with just over $1 million in donations. Ken Paxton with eight times that much.

“And an electorate that wonders what she stands for and who she is unlikely to move in her direction in large numbers,” Jillson said.

As of today, there are 42 days and counting now for each candidate to make those numbers change.

View more poll numbers here. 

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