Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, has opened a huge lead in his reelection bid following the Uvalde elementary school shooting, new poll results show.
Abbott led Democrat Beto O'Rourke by almost 19 points among likely Texas voters, according to BluePrint Polling results released Monday.
A total of 48.5% of respondents said they definitely would vote for Abbott, while another 7% said they were leaning toward the governor.
O'Rourke's support was divided between 32.9% who said they definitely would vote for the former congressman, and 4.3 % who said they were leaning toward the Democrat.
Overall, that meant Abbott led 55.5% to 37.2%.
The poll, conducted from June 8-10 among 603 likely voters, also found widespread support for new restrictions on gun purchases.
The latest BluePrint survey was conducted after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.
A total of 61.6% of survey respondents said laws should be more restrictive, 7.2% said they should be less restrictive, and 31.2% said current state gun laws were about right.
There also was surprising support among traditionally solid Second Amendment advocates — 37% of self-described Republicans, 31% of pro-Trump 2024 voters, and 39% of pro Abbott voters said they supported tougher gun laws.
Most Democrats (87%) and independents (73%) supported more restrictive gun purchase laws, survey results found.
As for requiring background checks for all firearms purchases, 80.9% of respondents said they supported the idea, 12.3% opposed, and 6.8% were unsure.
When asked if the minimum age to buy a gun should be raised to 21, 76.9% supported the notion, 17.8% opposed, and 5.2% were unsure.
O'Rourke, who has criticized Abbott for previously easing the state's gun laws, confronted the governor during a press conference about the Uvalde massacre.
Still, Abbott's poll numbers appear to have improved since the shooting.
No Democrat has been elected Texas governor since 1990. Abbott is seeking a third term in November.
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