Abbott is tied for third in a new poll ahead of the first Democratic debate in Houston

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott widens lead over Beto O’Rourke as voters focus on economy: poll A week out from the first Democratic debate in Houston, Texas, three weeks after he narrowly won the governorship.

On the heels of his narrow victory over Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who faces a daunting reelection race in 2018, has surged into third place in a new poll taken ahead of this week’s first Democratic presidential primary debate.

Focusing on an economy that is just six months in from a presidential election, the Texas governor finds himself tied for second in the NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, which found him behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who now holds the advantage among voters ages 36 and older.

“This is the first time he’s outpolled Joe Biden now for the second week in a row,” said NBC News Polling Director Mark Murray, who described the results as “huge” for Abbott.

The next Democratic presidential debate will take place in Houston on Thursday, when the network’s hosts — Anderson Cooper and NBC News political director Chuck Todd — will face off against Andrew Yang and four other candidates who will be participating in the first debate: Joe Sestak, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee and Pete Buttigieg.

As Abbott prepares to face Democrat Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who has become a major national figure, the governor’s poll numbers remain in the spotlight. A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found Abbott’s lead shrinking to nine points, while a CNN/SSRS national survey released Thursday found the governor’s lead falling to 16 points.

A week out from the first Democratic debate in Houston, Texas, three weeks after he narrowly won the governorship, Gov. Greg Abbott finds himself tied for third in a new poll taken ahead of this week’s first presidential debate.

Focusing on an economy that is just six months in from a presidential election, the Texas governor finds himself tied for third in the NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, which found him behind former Vice President Joe Biden

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