AUSTIN, Texas — According to The Texas Politics Project Poll, Governor Abbott’s approval among Texans has fallen to an all time low at 41 percent. His approval rating fell to 39 percent when responders were specifically asked about his Covid-19 response.
These low approval ratings come as Covid-19 continues to surge across Texas, which is largely in part because of low vaccination rates compared to other states. Abbott and other Republican leaders have not heavily promoted or publicly encouraged the importance of vaccines — our only line of defense against this deadly virus and the highly contagious Delta variant. This, along with refusing to take basic health and safety precautions that are proven to reduce the spread and save lives, have dramatically stalled our recovery from the pandemic in comparison to states who have followed the science and listened to public health experts.
Just as children, parents, and educators were getting ready to begin the school year, Abbott issued a ban on all mask requirements for public schools and local governments, and as a result, we have seen new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths surged across the state. And because there is no vaccine approved yet for children under 12 years old, Abbott’s poor decisions continue to put the health of children, teachers, and their families at high risk.
Abbott has consistently contradicted what the CDC and health experts have recommended, which is that even fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks while indoors and when in large groups due to a risk of breakthrough infections and further spread to vulnerable populations.
President Biden called out Governor Abbott in a press conference last month shortly before Abbott tested positive for Covid-19, saying: “If you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“All we have to do is look around our communities and speak to our families, friends, and neighbors to see that under Greg Abbott’s leadership, things are not going well for us. This poll is just another indicator of what we already know: Abbott is not good for Texas. His policies are downright harmful and it is time for him to leave office before he does any more damage.
“A growing number of Texans are experiencing the harsh reality of his political agenda and as more people are personally affected by his dangerous policies, they are beginning to see how he has failed miserably as governor. People are dying in Texas because of his lack of leadership.
“Hospitals are overrun with Covid-19 patients, death tolls continue to rise, and kids are forced back to school without any real protection. All because Abbott chose to gamble with the health, safety, and lives of Texas citizens to score political points among his base.
“Abbott’s failed leadership accounts for more deaths than any other Texas governor in modern history. The best thing he can do for the people of Texas is get out of the way. When it’s time to elect a new governor, we must not forget how Abbott and other Republican leaders failed us during our darkest days — the days when real leadership was not only needed, but critical to our very survival. Texans always deserve better.”