By Melissa Clyne
After a brief surge in popularity following her October announcement that she was entering the Texas governor's race, Democrat Wendy Davis' support is sliding, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.
GOP candidate Greg Abbott, who is the Lone Star State's attorney general, is beating his rival in the polls 47 percent to 36 percent. The Internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted Feb. 7-17. Seventeen percent of registered voters are still undecided, according to the poll.
Though she has never led Abbott in the polls, Davis saw a rapid jump after her announcement, narrowing Abbott's lead to just six percentage points. But the gap has widened.
Both candidates, via association, have sparked controversy in recent weeks. Abbott's appearing at public events with outspoken rocker Ted Nugent even after Nugent referred to President Obama as a "communist-nurtured, subhuman mongrel" stirred a bevy of bad press. Abbott's campaign has since dropped Nugent from appearances.
A leaked video of Battleground Texas workers — whom Davis called her "secret weapon" — making fun of Abbott's disability did not help the Davis camp.
On the video, released by the conservative Project Veritas, someone at a Battleground Texas gathering is heard saying: "First of all, he's not good looking, he doesn't speak very well, he doesn't have a good personality, and he's in a wheelchair." The remarks drew laughter from the crowd.
In another portion of the video, a lawyer who is a Battleground Texas volunteer, is captured saying: "I'm really wondering how this is going to work out, since he's in a wheelchair, and the slogans are 'Stand with Wendy.'"
Davis made national headlines when she filibustered for 11 hours to block a Texas Senate bill to make abortion regulations more restrictive. She has also recently been criticized for exaggerating her claim that she paid for her Harvard Law School education with loans and grants but failed to mention that her ex-husband, a lawyer, helped foot the bill, according to The Washington Times.
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