Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) trails Gov. Rick Perry (R) by 14 points in a hypothetical gubernatorial matchup, according to a new poll.


The Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday found Davis well behind Perry, who would have a 53-39 percent advantage over the Democrat, even after the attention she gained by filibustering a bill restricting abortion rights bill last week. 

Thirty-nine percent of Texans have a favorable opinion of Davis, while 29 percent have a negative opinion of her, the poll found. Davis's favorability has increased by 14 percentage points since January.

A slightly higher plurality of voters approved of the filibuster Davis staged to block legislation in Texas to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said they approved of the filibuster, while 40 percent said they disapproved of the filibuster. 

The two Texas politicians sparred in the aftermath. Perry questioned how Davis could support abortion rights as the daughter of a single mother.

"Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can't grow to live successful lives?" Perry said. "It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given the chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters." 

Davis said Perry's comment was "without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds."

Since the filibuster, Davis has reportedly been in touch with the Democratic Governors Association and on Monday said she would take a "second look" at running for governor in 2014.

But Perry's reelection hopes appear to be on the upswing, as the poll found him ahead of several Democratic politicians. 

Perry also leads San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) 50 percent to 43 percent and Austin Mayor Annise Parker (D) 52 percent to 35 percent, the poll found.

According to PPP, Perry's lead among the possible Democratic contenders is mainly due to an increased popularity with the GOP base. 

In January, PPP found 68 percent of Republican voters approve of Perry while 26 percent disapprove. 

The most recent poll found that 81 percent of voters approve of Perry while 16 percent disapprove. But just 30 percent of Texans say Perry should run for a fourth term while 60 percent say he should step down after this term, the poll found. 

Perry mounted an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and is thought to be weighing another run in 2016. 

The poll surveyed 500 Texans from June 28th to July 1. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Updated at 2:40 p.m.