Texas Republicans in the lead ahead of Election Day, new poll shows

Early voting in Texas starts Monday, Oct. 24, and there's a new poll out that is Rosey Red for Republicans. 

The Texas Politics Project at UT released a new poll showing Texas Governor Greg Abbott's lead over Beto O'Rourke is now 11 points. The poll of likely voters has Abbott at 54% to O'Rourke's 43. 

If you look at other Republicans running for statewide office this November, their leads are double digits, as well. Dan Patrick is at 15%, Ken Paxton 14%, Glen Hager 12%, Sid Miller 12%, and Don Buckingham is up 11. 

Political consultant Ashley Brasher and Ed Espinosa, president of Progress Texas, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.

MIKE: Ed, for Democrats, is this as brutal as it looks?

ED: Well, look, it's never good news to see this kind of thing. But what's important is that this is certainly an outlier. This is the fourth poll that has come out in the past week or so, and it's the only one that shows this type of lead. When you look at the average on FiveThirtyEight and you look up the average on Real Clear Politics of the other polls that are out, you see that the spread is more like seven points, which does align with Beto's performance in 2018. The polling show that he was down by about seven points, but on election day that ended up being about a 2 to 3 point race. So one poll does not tell us the whole story. A collection of polls tells us a little more, and I think there's still plenty of campaign left in front of us for us to see what the real story is going to look like.

MIKE: Ashley, to Ed's point about the polls, do you think this poll is accurate? Does it really reflect the will of the voters?

ASHLEY: Oh, of course. I mean, especially between Governor Abbott and better O'Rourke. I mean, we've seen Governor Abbott has been in the lead this entire time. Texans know exactly what they want. This poll also talked about the issues at hand. And I think across the board, it's Republican all over. I think that people are sick and tired of the Democratic. Let's bring California to Texas. Texans don't want that.

MIKE: Ed Espinosa. A poll like this, does it energize Democratic voters or is that just a cliché now?

ED: I don't think that polls really energize people because one of the things you have to keep in mind is that when you're this close to an election, polls are going to look at likely voters. But in Texas, in order to determine a likely voter, you have to look at people who have previously voted. Well, by definition, that is going to be a Republican electorate. And in order for Democrats to win, to change the way that things are in Texas, they have to pull in unlikely voters. And that is why that's that's ever going to show up in a poll. Now, the other thing about this poll is that it does screen for issues, and it showed that Texans were split between Abbott and Beto, 44% apiece on abortion. But we know that 78% of Texans want some type of abortion rights. So there are some data anomalies in here that don't really fit that kind of murky up, a picture that should otherwise be clear.

MIKE: Okay, Ashley, when a poll comes out like this that shows healthy leads, is there a concern with Republican political professionals that voters might get complacent and maybe not go vote because, hey, we're so way ahead?

ASHLEY: So kind of what I was saying, the people that are usually going to go to the polls, those are still going to the people, be the people that are showing up. We have a pretty consistent voter registration effort with the Republican Party within Texas and the people that believe that this is important to show up at the polls to early vote on Monday to make their voices heard. As a voter, they're going to be consistent probably for the rest of their lives. So our loyal Republican voters are always going to show up and there's a lot more of us.

MIKE: Okay. Well, we got to wrap it up for now. Once again, early voting begins on Monday. Ashley and Ed, thank you both very much.