Texas Attitudes Toward Donald Trump as the President Returns to Texas for a Roundtable and More Fundraising

President Donald Trump returns to Texas today to, per the Texas Tribune’s Alex Samuels, “participate in a roundtable discussion...with faith leaders, law enforcement officials and small-business owners to discuss race relations and policing” at the Dallas Campus of the Gateway Church. The man at the top of the GOP ticket in November will then reportedly preside over a high-ticket fundraiser for the Trump Victory Fund with a fundraising goal of $10 million, according to reporting by Todd Gillman and Gromer Jeffers, Jr., in a thorough table setter for the visit in the Dallas Morning News

Recent polls showing a close contest between Trump and former vice president Joe Biden in Texas have been getting a lot of play, including in the Gillman/Jeffers piece. While there’s little doubt that the parties are getting more competitive in Texas, there’s also little doubt that early summer polling is a poor predictor of the final outcome.  There will be lots of time to mull this as polling accumulates here.  For now, we’ve gathered University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll results that illustrate Trump’s standing in Texas, with particular attention to cross tabs for subgroups that add dimension to the overall numbers. (For those who want to dig still deeper, there are 132 items tagged with Donald Trump's name in our poll archive.)

Generic Trump re-elect

Not surprisingly, most polling has shown the president with leads in Texas, though those leads have remained rather narrow. In polling conducted this year, the average lead for Trump over Biden has been 2.4 percentage points — remarkably similar to Ted Cruz’s 2.6-point victory over Beto O’Rourke in 2018.


Texas Presidential Election Polling
Poll Field Dates Sample Size Sample Composition MOE Trump Biden Spread
Quinnipiac 5/28-6/1 1,166 Registered Voters +/-2.9% 44% 43% R +1
Emerson 5/8-5/10 800 Registered Voters +/-3.4% 47% 41% R +6
PPP 4/27-4/28 1,032 Registered Voters N/A 46% 47% D +1
Dallas Morning News 4/18-4/27 1,183 Registered Voters +/-2.9% 43% 43% Tie
UT/Texas Tribune 4/10-4/19 1,200 Registered Voters +/-2.8% 49% 44% R +5
NBC/Marist 2/23-2/27 2,409 Registered Voters +/-2.5% 49% 45% R +4
CNN 2/22-2/26 1,003 Registered Voters +/-3.0% 47% 48% D +1
Dallas Morning News 2/17-2/26 1,221 Registered Voters +/-2.8% 45% 44% R +1
UT/Texas Tribune 1/31-2/9 1,200 Registered Voters +/-2.8% 47% 43% R +4
Dallas Morning News 1/21-1/30 915 Likely Voters +/-3.2% 46% 44% R +2
Texas Lyceum 1/10-1/19 520 Likely Voters +/-4.3% 51% 46% R +5
CNN 12/4-12/8 1,003 Registered Voters +/-3.7% 48% 47% R +1
UT/Texas Tribune 10/18-10/27 1,200 Registered Voters +/-2.8% 46% 39% R +7
Dallas Morning News 8/1-8/3 1,033 Registered Voters +/-3.0% 49% 51% D +2
Quinnipiac 5/29-6/4 1,159 Registered Voters +/-3.4% 44% 48% D +4
Emerson 4/25-4/28 799 Registered Voters +/-3.4% 49% 50% D +1
Quinnipiac 2/20-2/25 1,222 Registered Voters +/-3.4% 47% 46% R +1

Generic Trump re-elect

While the Democratic Party was settling on a candidate, the UT/TT Poll included a question that probed support for Trump in the absence of a named opponent. Such a question allows respondents to idealize the unnamed opponent and so likely understates support for the incumbent.  Looking at results by party identification suggests a problem that has been much-noticed nationally of late: Trump seems to be struggling with independents.

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Definitely vote to re-elect Donald Trump3%27%81%
Probably vote to re-elect Donald Trump3%12%11%
Probably vote for someone else9%17%1%
Definitely vote for someone else85%44%6%

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Definitely vote to re-elect Donald Trump42%
Probably vote to re-elect Donald Trump8%
Probably vote for someone else7%
Definitely vote for someone else42%

Overall job approval trend

The president’s job approval has fluctuated in a narrow band in Texas throughout his presidency. 

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categoryApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 201746%44%11%
June 201743%51%7%
October 201745%50%6%
February 201846%46%8%
June 201847%44%8%
October 201848%45%6%
February 201949%45%6%
June 201952%44%5%
October 201947%48%5%
February 202045%48%7%
April 202049%45%6%
June 202046%48%6%
October 202049%46%4%

Trump’s approval ratings have largely been fixed by steadfast approval among Republicans and even more intense disapproval among Democrats. 

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 201781%10%8%
June 201780%13%7%
October 201778%15%7%
February 201883%11%5%
June 201887%7%6%
October 201888%7%4%
February 201988%8%5%
June 201988%8%5%
October 201988%8%5%
February 202087%9%4%
April 202090%7%3%
June 202086%8%6%
October 202090%8%2%

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 20178%83%10%
June 20175%90%5%
October 20175%92%4%
February 20188%85%8%
June 20188%84%9%
October 20186%91%4%
February 20197%88%5%
June 201911%86%4%
October 20196%90%4%
February 20205%89%6%
April 20207%86%6%
June 20205%93%2%
October 20207%89%4%

Recent slippage among independents, however, is also evident in these results.

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 201739%37%24%
June 201747%41%11%
October 201755%35%10%
February 201849%37%13%
June 201843%45%12%
October 201839%43%17%
February 201946%37%17%
June 201946%39%15%
October 201941%51%8%
February 202036%47%17%
April 202034%47%18%
June 202036%50%14%
October 202031%53%15%

Approval of handling of the economy

Partisanship also drives assessments of how the president is handling the economy, though Democrats’ disapproval is slightly less intense than their overall disapproval.

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Approve strongly2%23%72%
Approve somewhat6%10%17%
Neither approve nor disapprove8%17%4%
Disapprove somewhat16%12%2%
Disapprove strongly66%33%5%
Don't know1%7%1%

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Approve strongly37%
Approve somewhat12%
Neither approve nor disapprove8%
Disapprove somewhat9%
Disapprove strongly33%
Don't know1%

Approval: handing of the response to the coronavirus/COVID019

Not much difference in partisan assessments of the president here, either, though Republican support is less strong than their approval of his handling of the economy or his overall rating (i.e. looking at the distribution of “approve strongly” and “approve somewhat”).  Note that these results were from mid-April, when most major cities in the state were already under some form of stay-at-home order.

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Approve strongly3%22%62%
Approve somewhat7%13%24%
Neither approve nor disapprove5%10%5%
Disapprove somewhat10%6%3%
Disapprove strongly74%45%5%
Don't know1%4%0%

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Approve strongly33%
Approve somewhat15%
Neither approve nor disapprove6%
Disapprove somewhat7%
Disapprove strongly38%
Don't know1%

Trust in Trump as source of accurate information on the coronavirus/COVID-19

You guessed it: Partisanship carries the day, though with only 29% of independents saying that they trust the information coming from the president.

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Don't trust89%55%11%
Don't know/Unfamiliar5%16%7%

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Don't trust49%
Don't know/Unfamiliar7%

The item asking about trust in COVID-19 information coming from the president was one of several assessments in the poll. The president was one of five sources evaluated that were trusted by less than half of respondents.  The top response was medical and health professionals, followed by the Centers for Disease Control. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s trust level was 15 percentage points higher than Trump's, largely as a result of being trusted by nearly a third of Democrats, compared to the 5% who said they trusted the president.

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Medical and health professionals93%66%87%
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)84%52%63%
Your friends and family62%48%69%
Greg Abbott32%35%85%
Your local elected officials58%38%57%
Donald Trump5%29%82%
Your employer40%25%45%
Religious leaders and clergy28%16%56%
The news media61%20%15%
Social media and online sources22%12%13%

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Medical and health professionals87%
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)70%
Your friends and family63%
Greg Abbott58%
Your local elected officials55%
Donald Trump44%
Your employer41%
Religious leaders and clergy40%
The news media34%
Social media and online sources17%