Nearly 2/3 of Texans Disapprove of Gov. Greg Abbott's Handling of the Pandemic, Poll Shows

click to enlarge Gov. Greg Abbott shows off an executive order during a recent press conference. - Instagram / @governorabbott
Instagram / @governorabbott
Gov. Greg Abbott shows off an executive order during a recent press conference.
Texans' confidence in Gov. Greg Abbott’s ability to handle COVID-19 has plunged even further underwater as the health crisis drags on, a new national poll shows.

Just 38% of Texans approve of the Republican governor’s pandemic response, according to a survey conducted this month by Harvard, Northeastern, Northwestern and Rutgers universities. In April, his approval in a similar survey stood at 61%, and it's slipped every month since.

According to the poll, Americans in 44 states now have lower opinions of their governor's handling of the outbreak than they did in April, a time when many states and municipalities had issued stay-at-home orders.

The universities' analysis shows that approval rates for a number of GOP governors who reopened their states early — and experienced subsequent infection surges — are dovetailing with those of President Donald Trump.

"Examples include Governor Abbott of Texas, whose management of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to suffer declining support in late July and is now approaching that of President Trump (38% for Abbott, compared to 32% for Trump)," the authors of the analysis wrote.

Abbott has largely aligned himself with Trump during the outbreak, becoming one of the first governors to launch brisk reopening plan and declining to require residents wear masks until hospitalization rates mushroomed. He also repeatedly pushed back against San Antonio and other municipalities as they sought to enact public health orders to curb outbreaks.

Earlier this week, Abbott spent time with Trump as he visited West Texas for a $7 million campaign fundraiser targeting the oil industry.

Governors of just five states experienced an uptick in approval in the poll. Those governors have largely taken cautious approaches to reopening their economies, according to the universities' analysis.

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