Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced a Texas gubernatorial bid last month, but a new Quinnipiac University poll of registered Texas voters appears to bode ill for the Democrat's chances of defeating incumbent GOP Gov. Greg Abbott.
The survey found that if the two went head-to-head, 52% would vote for Abbott while 37% would support O'Rourke.
Abbott had a lead among independents, earning 47% compared to O'Rourke's 37%.
"How far behind is Beto O'Rourke? 15 points is more than your typical two touchdown deficit in football and an even bigger hole in the game of politics. That said, Texas is a big state with big issues and there's a lot of time to play catchup between now and November 8, 2022," Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said.
The poll found that 33% of registered Texas voters view the Texas-Mexico border as the most pressing matter facing the state, with the economy trailing far behind at just 11%, and various other issues earning even smaller percentages.
While 58% of Republicans and 32% of independents selected the southern border as the top issue, just 3% of Democrats chose that as the top concern.
Abbott has served as the governor of the Lone Star State since 2015.
O'Rourke, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019, lost a 2018 Senate contest to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. O'Rourke mounted a presidential bid in 2019 but dropped out later that year.
Both men will face challengers during their respective parties' gubernatorial primaries.