New UT/ Texas Politics Project Poll: Trump still dominates presidential race in Texas, no movement on vouchers, and signs of a Paxton recovery among Republicans

Poll Summary
Crosstabs

With one year to go before the 2024 presidential election, the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds former president Donald Trump dominating a crowded Republican primary field and holding a comfortable lead in a hypothetical re-match with President Joe Biden, who faces no serious competition in the Democratic primary so far.

None of the Republican candidates challenging Trump for the GOP presidential nomination appear to be posing a substantial threat to the former president’s front runner status in Texas, where 62% of registered voters planning to vote in the GOP primary chose him as their top choice. Florida governor Ron DeSantis was a distant second, with 13%, followed by former South Carolina governor and Trump-appointed ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who was the choice of 7%. Seven other candidates were the choice of 3% or less.

Trump also fared best among the major Republican candidates in hypothetical general election contests with Biden, leading the incumbent president 45% to 37%, with 13% preferring an unnamed “someone else” and 8% offering no opinion. 

The poll also asked Texans about educational savings accounts and other public education issues at the center of the third special session of the 88th Texas Legislature currently underway in Austin. The poll found a modest majority, 51%, supportive of “establishing a voucher, educational savings account, or other ‘school choice’ program in Texas,” with slightly less than a third, 30%, opposed, and 19% holding no opinion.

The unsuccessful efforts to direct public funds to private education and homeschool families have triggered sustained political conflict among the state’s Republican leadership, and the subject is the top item on Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda for the current special session. The most recent poll results continue to suggest that such programs are a much lower priority for most Texas voters. Only 18% said they had heard “a lot” about efforts by state officials to establish a voucher, educational savings account, or school choice program. When asked to evaluate a list of public education priorities for the legislature to address, “school safety” was the top priority of  the largest share of Texas voters, 30%, followed by teacher pay and retention (19%), curriculum content (14%), and parental rights (12%). Only 7% judged “vouchers, educational savings accounts (ESAs), or other ‘school choice’ legislation” the legislature’s most important educational priority.

The poll found much more public interest in the state’s seemingly ever-increasing efforts to respond to immigration and the flow of migrants on the Texas-Mexico border, the other policy area prominent on Gov. Abbott’s agenda for the special session. Overall, more than a third of voters (35%) cited immigration or border security as the most important problem facing the state. The issues dominated the worries of Republican voters: 60% cited one or the other as the most important problem facing Texas, with no other problem breaking into double figures. Comparing partisan differences, the two issues were cited by only 9% of Democrats, but by 43% of independents, in a pattern familiar from most UT/Texas Politics Project polling over the last decade.

The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll was conducted October 5-17, 2023, among 1200 self-declared registered voters in Texas. The margin error for topline results is +/- 2.83% (3.3% adjusted for weighting).

The sections below include more detailed discussion of key findings. Complete results, including a summary with methodological information, crosstabs, and data files, can be found using the links at the top of this page and the October 2023 entry in the Texas Politics Project Poll data archive

More on the Texas landscape of the 2024 election

Texas voters’ attitudes related to the 2024 presidential election reflect the doubts voters in both major parties harbor about their most likely presidential standard bearers. Doubts about Trump manifest mainly in the context of the alternatives offered in the crowded primary field, but largely disappear in the context of a general election rematch with Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in 2020. Democratic views of Biden convey comparatively more doubts about their incumbent president.

With Biden set to be 82 years old if inaugurated for a second term, while Trump would be 78 if he were to win his second term, Texas voters expressed more reservation about Biden’s age than about Trump’s. About two-thirds of voters, 69%, say Biden “is too old to be president in 2025,” while only 37% said the same of Trump. Biden’s doubters include a majority of Democrats (52%) viewing him as too old in 2025, with only about a third disagreeing that Biden is too old (32%) and 16% unsure. Republican voters expressed less concern about Trump’s age: Only 19% say Trump would be too old to serve in 2025, with 75% saying he wouldn’t be, and only 7% expressing no opinion.

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes52%81%81%
No32%12%14%
Don't know16%7%5%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes58%39%19%
No32%52%75%
Don't know11%9%7%

In hypothetical head-to-head match-ups between Biden and the top Republicans candidates, only Trump bests Biden outside of the margin of error of the poll (+/- 2.83%). In a still-hypothetical if seemingly likely 2024 match-up between Biden and Trump, registered voters in Texas currently prefer Trump to Biden by a margin of 45% to 37%, with 13% saying they would support someone else and 5% saying that they hadn’t thought about it enough to have an opinion. 

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categoryTotal
Joe Biden37%
Donald Trump45%
Someone else13%
Haven't thought about it enough to have an opinion5%

In hypothetical match-ups with the most well-known remaining candidates, Biden’s support remains indistinguishable from his potential Republican challengers, trailing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis 39% to 38%; leading businessman Vivek Ramaswamy 36% to 33%; leading former South Carolina Governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley 34% to 32%; leading South Carolina Senator Tim Scott 34% to 33%; and leading former vice president Mike Pence 36% to 29%.

The variability in these results reflects the variability in GOP support for their potential presidential candidates. Among Democrats, between 74% and 81% express support for president Biden in each of the trial match-ups, while among Republicans, support for their potential standard bearer ranges from 83% for Trump to 52% for Pence, with the lower polling candidates all receiving less than 61% of GOP support with the exception of DeSantis, who receives 74% support. It should be noted that this lack of support for some of the GOP candidates does not indicate support for Biden, who receives no more than 5% of the GOP vote in any of the hypothetical match-ups. 

While Trump continues to dominate a splintered field of Republican presidential aspirants, 38% of voters planning to vote in the Republican Primary said they “would definitely not support Trump” in the primary. Only two other candidates were seen as non-starters by larger shares of Republican primary voters – former New Jersey governor Chris Christie (46%) and former vice-president Mike Pence (42%), both of whom have antagonized Trump (albeit in different ways).

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categoryTotal
Chris Christie46%
Mike Pence42%
Donald Trump38%
Vivek Ramaswamy23%
Ron DeSantis22%
Asa Hutchinson21%
Nikki Haley20%
Will Hurd18%
Doug Burgum15%
Tim Scott9%

Yet Republicans continue to hold largely positive views of Trump’s attributes. Large majorities of Texas GOP voters say that Trump is a strong leader (87%), is competent (84%), and knowledgeable (83%). Significantly fewer say he “cares about people like you” (74%) or “has the temperament to serve effectively as president” (70%). Still fewer of his partisans, 63%, find him “honest and trustworthy.” 

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes6%28%63%
No90%68%23%
Don't know4%4%13%

Democrats largely view Biden’s traits positively, though are more tempered in their assessments than are Republicans in their views of Trump. Four out of five Texas Democrats say Biden “has the temperament to serve effectively as president” (80%) and is knowledgeable (80%), while three-quarters (75%) say Biden “cares about people like you." Democrats are significantly less likely to view Biden as a “strong leader” (64%) than Republicans are to view Trump the same way (87%).

A look at the upcoming congressional elections finds Texas Republicans in a comfortable position, with 47% of voters saying that they will support the GOP candidate in their district compared to 38% who say that they will be supporting the Democratic candidate.

Taking an early look at the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, only 2 of the 14 potential candidates examined could be identified by 30% or more of potential Democratic primary voters: State Senator Roland Gutierrez (30%) and Congressman Colin Allred (41%).

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categoryTotal
Colin Allred41%
Roland Gutierrez30%
Mark A. Gonzalez16%
Steve Keough13%
Sherri Taylor10%
Aaron Arguijo9%
Teresa Naranjo9%
Meri Gomez8%
Tracy Andrus7%
John Love III 7%
Heli Rodriguez-Prilliman7%
Thierry Tchenko7%
Carl Sherman7%
Victor D. Dunn6%

Given the early state of that race and the large number of unknown candidates, it’s not surprising to find in this early test of Democratic preferences that most voters had not yet made up their mind or even thought much about the race (34% said they hadn’t thought about it enough to have an opinion, 12% said they didn’t know). Acknowledging the still developing nature of that contest, Congressman Allred sits in the lead at this stage, garnering the support of 21% of potential Democratic primary voters, followed by State Senator Gutierrez at 10%, with the remaining candidates all receiving 3% support or less.

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categoryTotal
Colin Allred21%
Roland Gutierrez10%
Sherri Taylor3%
Meri Gomez2%
Steve Keough2%
Tracy Andrus2%
Thierry Tchenko2%
Mark A. Gonzalez2%
Carl Sherman2%
Teresa Naranjo2%
Aaron Arguijo1%
Someone else1%
John Love III1%
Heli Rodriguez-Prilliman1%
Victor D. Dunn0%
Haven't thought about it34%
Don't know12%

Enthusiasm is way down in October 2023 compared to October 2019 polling one year out from the 2020 election. In 2019 polling, 50% of voters, including 59% of Republicans and 49% of Democrats, said that they were “extremely enthusiastic” about voting in the upcoming election. In 2023 polling, only 39% say that they’re “extremely enthusiastic,” including 44% of Republicans and 39% of Democrats. 

Educational Savings Accounts and the Special Session

Among the elements being discussed in legislative bargaining among Republicans in the third special session of the Texas Legislature, vouchers remain a low priority compared to other areas of focus. Asked to evaluate the importance of the legislature addressing different educational policy concerns, only 25% judged establishing a voucher, educational savings account (ESA), or school choice program as “extremely important,” fewer than said the same of improvements to school facilities and infrastructure (31%), public school financing (34%), parental rights (44%), teacher pay and retention (44%), curriculum content (45%), or school safety (60%). Asked what was most important for the legislature to address, only 7% said establishing a voucher or ESA program, statistically indistinguishable from facilities improvements (6%) and public school financing (9%), but significantly less than said the same of teacher pay (19%) and school safety (30%).

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categoryTotal
School safety30%
Teacher pay / teacher retention19%
Curriculum content14%
Parental rights12%
Public school financing9%
Vouchers, ESAs, or other “school choice" legislation7%
Facilities & infrastructure additions or improvements6%
Don't know/No opinion3%

Even among Republican voters, the ostensible audience for the extensive back-and-forth over vouchers in the Legislature this year, only 32% judged establishing a voucher or ESA program in Texas as extremely important — less than said the same of curriculum (57%), school safety (58%), or parental rights (61%) — while only 9% judged vouchers or ESA’s the most important public education priority, with school safety (25%), curriculum (21%), and parental rights (20%) topping the education priority list of two-thirds of Republican voters in Texas.

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
School safety37%29%25%
Teacher pay / teacher retention30%18%11%
Curriculum content8%10%21%
Parental rights3%9%20%
Public school financing13%8%5%
Vouchers, ESAs, or other “school choice" legislation2%13%9%
Facilities & infrastructure additions or improvements6%8%6%
Don't know/No opinion3%6%2%

Within a context that finds voters placing a low priority on the establishment of a voucher program, a slight majority, 51%, say that based on what they’ve heard, they would support establishing such a program in Texas (30% expressed opposition) — however, only 19% of voters say that they’ve heard “a lot” about the current special session of the legislature, while only 18% say they’ve heard “a lot” about efforts by state leadership to establish a voucher or ESA program in Texas.

Asked to offer an opinion on the impact of a voucher or ESA program on Texas schools and schoolchildren, pluralities said that they would have a positive impact on the quality of the public school system (49%) and public school funding (41%), while a majority said the same of student learning outcomes (55%). Additionally, pluralities said the establishment of a voucher or ESA program would likely have a positive impact on urban (44%), suburban (43%), and rural (41%) public schools.

With additional dollars for public education the major bargaining chip in negotiations over the establishment of a voucher or ESA program in Texas, a plurality of Texans continue to view state investment in public education as lacking, with a plurality of voters (45%) saying that the state spends too little on public education, while 28% say that the state spends the right amount and only 12% say the state is spending too much.

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categoryTotal
Too much12%
About the right amount28%
Too little45%
Don't know/No opinion15%

The aftermath of the Paxton trial

In the aftermath of the acquittal of Attorney Ken Paxton of all impeachment articles by the Texas Senate, a plurality of voters continue to view the House’s actions to impeach Paxton as justified (47%) and feel that the Attorney General took actions that justified his removal from office (46%). This guilty verdict among the public remains largely unchanged from August polling conducted prior to the trial. 

At the same time, the attorney general finds renewed sympathy among Republican voters. The share of Republican voters viewing the House’s actions as unjustified increased from 33% in August UT/TXP polling to 43% in October, while the share saying Paxton should not be removed from office saw a similar increase over the same time period, from 32% to 44%. Democrats have continuously, and overwhelmingly viewed the House’s actions as justified (73% in October) and believe that Paxton took actions that justify his removal (70%).

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes70%46%27%
No7%23%44%
Don't know/No opinion23%31%29%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes71%42%24%
No8%14%32%
Don't know/No opinion21%44%43%

Most of the key players received mixed reviews of their handling of the impeachment and trial of Ken Paxton:

While Gov. Abbott held no formal role in the process, 35% approved of his handling of the impeachment and trial with 33% disapproving. 

A majority of Democrats disapproved of the Texas Senate (51%), Patrick (56%), and Abbott’s (57%) performance, while giving mixed reviews to the Texas House (32% approve, 37% disapprove) and Speaker Phelan (26% approve, 34% disapprove).

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly5%6%14%
Approve somewhat13%15%32%
Neither approve nor disapprove15%21%21%
Disapprove somewhat10%9%9%
Disapprove strongly41%26%5%
Don't know15%23%19%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly2%7%16%
Approve somewhat12%7%28%
Neither approve nor disapprove15%23%24%
Disapprove somewhat9%10%8%
Disapprove strongly47%29%4%
Don't know16%25%20%

Among Republicans, Abbott, the Texas Senate, and its leadership received the highest marks, with 55% approving of the Governor’s response to the impeachment (quiet though it was) and only 10% disapproving; 46% approving the Texas Senate (14% disapproving); and 44% approving of Lt. Gov. Patrick (12% disapproving). The Texas House received more mixed reviews from the state’s Republican voters (36% approving; 22% disapproving), with equal shares approving (25%) and disapproving (26%) of Speaker Phelan’s performance.

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly13%2%11%
Approve somewhat19%15%25%
Neither approve nor disapprove15%24%22%
Disapprove somewhat7%14%12%
Disapprove strongly30%26%10%
Don't know16%20%20%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly9%6%7%
Approve somewhat17%9%18%
Neither approve nor disapprove18%19%24%
Disapprove somewhat9%8%10%
Disapprove strongly25%30%16%
Don't know22%28%25%

Texans and the dysfunctional congress

Texas voters continue to have a dim view of Congress and its leaders as the leadership vacuum in The U.S. House of Representatives persists three weeks after the chamber removed California congressman Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House without choosing his replacement. Only 19% approved of the job the U.S. Congress is doing, while 60% disapproved, the worst net approval rating (-41%) since June, 2022

The harsh judgment of Congress, where Republicans hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives and Democrats maintain an even narrower majority in the Senate, is bipartisan. Democratic views are slightly less negative (24% approve/55% disapprove) than Republicans’ (16% approve/65% disapprove). Not burdened by any partisan attachments, independents express even more negative views: only 2% approve while 78% disapprove.

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly5%0%2%
Approve somewhat19%2%14%
Neither approve nor disapprove20%15%16%
Disapprove somewhat21%23%28%
Disapprove strongly34%55%37%
Don't know1%4%3%

The poll, which was conducted after McCarthy was removed as Speaker on October 3, found McCarthy underwater among Texas voters, including Republicans. Nearly twice as many disapproved of his job performance as Speaker (47%) as approved (24%), a worsening of his already net-negative assessment in June 2023, when 33% approved and 39% disapproved. McCarthy’s ratings among Republicans reflect the decline in his political fortunes: only 34% of Republicans approved, while 35% disapproved, down from 55% approving and 22% disapproving in June.

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly4%1%8%
Approve somewhat10%9%26%
Neither approve nor disapprove16%12%23%
Disapprove somewhat11%17%20%
Disapprove strongly48%49%15%
Don't know11%13%8%

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), also received tepid reviews from his partisans, which led to deeply negative overall ratings when added to the predictably negative views of Democrats. Only 17% approved of McConnell’s job performance, while 56% disapproved. Among Republicans, 20% approved and 51% disapproved. The 81-year old McConnell suffered two public health incidents in recent months, which led to him being included in media discussion of the age of key leaders in both parties. He has also worked more cooperatively, comparatively, with Democrats who hold a narrow majority in the Senate.

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly2%1%4%
Approve somewhat9%5%16%
Neither approve nor disapprove18%15%22%
Disapprove somewhat16%21%19%
Disapprove strongly51%46%32%
Don't know4%11%6%

The job ratings of Democratic congressional leaders, while not stellar, appear to have been boosted by a comparative lack of cross-currents among their partisans: 30% approved of the job Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is doing, while 41% disapproved, buoyed by positive approval ratings among Democrats (53% approve, 15% disapprove). Republican views were predictably negative (13% approve, 64% disapprove), and independents even more so (7% approve, 52% disapprove).

House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York), who replaced Nancy Pelosi as the leader of House Democrats in 2022, received 28% approval and 30% disapproval. Among Democrats, 52% approved and 9% disapproved. 

Democracy and governance

Amid several signs of institutional stress in the United States political system, only about a third of Texans say that democracy is working well in the country, with only 13% saying it is working “extremely” (3%) or “very” (10%) well. More than half, 58%, say democracy in America is working poorly, with 16% saying “very poorly” and 18% “extremely poorly.” A little less than half of Texans give tepid but not urgent reviews: 21% say democracy is working “somewhat well,” and 24% say “somewhat poorly.” In a more general assessment, 71% said the country is on the wrong track, with only 20% saying things are headed in the right direction.

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categoryTotal
Extremely well3%
Very well10%
Somewhat well21%
Somewhat poorly24%
Very poorly16%
Extremely poorly18%
Don't know/No opinion7%

In responses to questions about attitudes likely to inform these macro level assessments, slightly more than half of Texans, 54% say that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election, and about a third, 35% say he did not. More than two years after the violent overrunning of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 by pro-Trump protesters, 54% agree that “Protesters who entered the United States Capitol January 6th, 2021 were attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.” 

There were sharp partisan differences in attitudes on items related to Biden’s election and January 6. Democrats are nearly unanimous in agreeing that Biden legitimately won the election (93% say he did), while a clear majority of Republicans, 63%, say he did not, and only about a fifth (21%) agree the president was legitimately elected. Similarly, 89% of Democrats agree that the January 6th rioters who entered the Capitol were attempting to overturn Biden’s election, compared only 25% of Republicans (63% of whom disagree, 44% strongly).

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Strongly agree73%39%11%
Somewhat agree16%14%14%
Somewhat disagree3%8%19%
Strongly disagree2%23%44%
Don't know/No opinion6%16%12%

These sharp partisan differences in fundamental beliefs related to these key events reflect the mutual reinforcement of party polarization and skeptical assessments of the health of democracy in the United States. With the parties sharply sorted along ideological lines, the latest poll finds partisans unlikely to feel welcome in the party they don’t already belong to: 79% of Democrats say that they don’t “feel like the Republican Party is welcoming to people like you,” while about the same share of Republicans, 77%, say they don’t feel welcome in the Democratic Party.

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes11%24%83%
No79%56%9%
Don't know/No opinion10%20%8%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes82%23%13%
No10%61%77%
Don't know/No opinion8%16%11%

Unsurprisingly, partisan differences shape responses to recently-initiated efforts in the U.S. House to conduct impeachment investigations into Joe Biden. Overall, 49% thought that “Congress is justified in conducting impeachment investigations into Joe Biden,” while 33% thought investigations were not justified and 18% didn’t express an opinion. Nearly 4 out of 5 Republicans (79%) thought investigations were justified, while 69% of Democrats thought they were not. 

When asked, “Based on what you know, do you think that Joe Biden has taken actions that justify his removal from office before the end of his term,” 68% of Republicans said yes, while 72% of Democrats said he had not. Overall, 42% answered “yes,” 37% said “no,” and 22% offered no opinion. Thus far, early hearings have revealed no evidence of wrongdoing by the current president. A special counsel named by the U.S. Attorney General is investigating the improper retention of classified documents by Biden from the times he served as a U.S. Senator and vice-president, though no charges have been filed at this writing.

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PollToo muchToo littleRight Amount
Apr. 202215%39%29%
June 202228%27%25%
Dec. 202229%22%34%
Feb. 202330%21%32%
Apr. 202332%21%32%
June 202335%22%30%
Aug. 202336%21%30%
Oct. 202337%19%31%
Dec. 202333%19%33%
Apr. 202428%26%31%
June 202432%24%30%

Ukraine and Russia

More than a year and a half after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, public opinion in Texas toward U.S. support for Ukraine remains divided, with skepticism toward the U.S. commitment of support to Ukraine falling significantly among Republican voters. Asked “Do you think the U.S. is doing too much, too little, or about the right amount in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” 37% said “too much,” largely unchanged from June (35%) and August (36%), but a significant increase since April 2022 (15%); 19% said the U.S. was doing “too little,” the lowest share since April 2022 (39%), but in line with overall responses since December 2022 (22%). The share saying the U.S. is doing “the right amount,” 31%, was in the middle of the range for the same period (between 25% and 34%). 

(The U.S. sent a reported $76.8 billion in humanitarian, financial, and military aid to Ukraine between January 24, 2022 and July 31, 2023, according to the Council on Foreign Relations).

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PollToo muchToo littleRight Amount
Apr. 202219%44%23%
June 202239%25%16%
Dec. 202244%18%25%
Feb. 202346%17%22%
Apr. 202350%19%21%
June 202353%18%18%
Aug. 202356%15%20%
Oct. 202354%13%23%
Dec. 202350%11%28%
Apr. 202444%16%26%
June 202448%14%27%

The reservations about continuing aid to Ukraine increasingly evident among Congressional Republicans and conservative opinion leaders continue to manifest among Texas Republican voters. The share of Republicans who say the U.S. is doing “too much” in response to the Russian invasion has increased from only 19% in April 2022 to 54% in October 2023, with 50% or more of Republicans in this category starting in April 2023. The share of Democrats saying the U.S. is doing too little was 30% in October, little changed from earlier in the year. Between 12% and 16% of Democrats said the US was doing too much throughout 2023 (15% in October). 

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Yes11%41%68%
No72%32%10%
Unsure11%14%15%
Don't know/No opinion6%13%7%

Skepticism toward U.S. support for Ukraine does not appear rooted in widespread positive views of Russia. Only 11% of Texas voters had a favorable view of Russia, while 69% viewed the country unfavorably — 54% very unfavorably. There were no significant differences in partisan views, though negative assessments were somewhat more intense among Democrats (64% very unfavorable) than among Republicans (51% very unfavorable). 

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categoryTotal
Very favorable3%
Somewhat favorable8%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable18%
Somewhat unfavorable15%
Very unfavorable54%
Don't know/No opinion3%

Approval ratings

Governor Greg Abbott finds himself in net-positive territory in October polling, with 49% approving of his job performance and 40% disapproving. Among Republicans, 79% approve of Abbott’s performance, while among Democrats 77% disapprove (with 67% strongly disapproving).

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
November 201542%29%28%
February 201641%29%30%
June 201642%31%27%
October 201642%33%25%
February 201745%33%23%
June 201745%38%16%
October 201748%33%19%
February 201846%31%23%
June 201847%36%18%
October 201852%32%17%
February 201951%32%17%
June 201951%31%18%
October 201952%28%21%
February 202048%34%18%
April 202056%32%13%
June 202049%39%13%
October 202047%40%14%
February 202146%39%15%
March 202145%43%11%
April 202143%45%13%
June 202144%44%11%
August 202141%50%9%
October 202143%48%10%
February 202244%42%15%
April 202247%41%13%
June 202243%46%12%
August 202246%44%10%
October 202247%44%9%
December 202249%41%8%
February 202346%43%12%
April 202346%41%12%
June 202347%42%12%
August 202345%45%10%
October 202349%40%10%
December 202348%41%11%
February 202453%37%10%
April 202455%37%10%
June 202450%39%11%

Lt. Governor Patrick, in the wake of the Paxton impeachment trial and his role as presiding judge, also receives net-positive approval ratings from Texas voters, with 40% approving of his job performance (including 63% of Republicans) and 35% disapproving (including 66% of Democrats). After seeing his approval ratings drop at the beginning of the Paxton trial to 35% approval and 40% disapproval, the first survey after the trial finds the Lt. Governor recovering to approval levels in line with his historical averages.

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
November 201529%26%44%
February 201627%27%46%
June 201631%30%39%
October 201631%31%38%
February 201732%31%38%
June 201734%36%29%
October 201736%31%32%
February 201836%33%31%
June 201836%34%30%
October 201844%31%25%
February 201942%31%26%
June 201941%31%29%
October 201939%32%29%
February 202039%35%25%
April 202040%36%24%
June 202039%38%23%
October 202037%37%25%
February 202137%36%27%
March 202137%37%27%
April 202135%39%26%
June 202136%37%27%
August 202133%42%25%
October 202135%39%25%
February 202233%34%32%
April 202237%36%26%
June 202235%40%25%
August 202238%37%25%
October 202237%39%24%
December 202243%36%21%
February 202338%39%22%
April 202342%36%23%
June 202338%35%27%
August 202335%40%26%
October 202340%35%25%
December 202340%34%26%
February 202442%34%24%
April 202444%33%24%
June 202439%34%28%

After seeing a significant decline in his job approval ratings in August, Attorney General Ken Paxton still finds himself in net-negative approval territory, with 33% of voters approving of his job performance and 42% disapproving. The October polling found only a slight recovery for Paxton among Republican voters so far, with 50% expressing approval in October compared to 46% in August, and 20% expressing disapproval, compared to 23%. Between April of 2022 and April of 2023, the Attorney General’s job approval among Republicans stayed above 62% over the course of 7 surveys, topping out at 73% in December of 2022.

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categoryApproveDisapproveDon't know
Apr. 202132%36%31%
June 202133%36%32%
Aug. 202135%38%28%
Oct. 202135%37%28%
Feb. 202232%35%33%
Apr. 202234%36%30%
June 202234%39%27%
Aug. 202237%38%25%
Oct. 202236%39%26%
Dec. 202241%37%21%
Feb. 202335%38%26%
Apr. 202339%35%26%
June 202330%41%28%
Aug. 202327%46%28%
Oct. 202332%42%25%
Dec. 202335%38%26%
Feb. 202441%37%22%
Apr. 202441%35%24%
June 202436%38%25%

OTHER JOB APPROVAL RATINGS

Texas views of the economy and the direction of Texas & the U.S.

A majority of voters continue to say that the state is on the wrong track, though at 50%, the share feeling this way is down slightly from the 55% who said the same in August polling (37% said the state is on the right track). National assessments remain worse, with 71% of voters saying the country is on the wrong track compared to only 20% who think the country is headed in the right direction.

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PollRight DirectionWrong Track
October 200938%39%
February 201043%37%
May 201045%38%
September 201043%38%
October 201045%37%
February 201141%41%
May 201136%48%
October 201139%43%
February 201243%38%
May 201238%42%
October 201243%34%
February 201345%39%
June 201350%32%
October 201342%39%
February 201445%35%
June 201449%33%
October 201448%35%
February 201550%30%
June 201550%32%
November 201545%36%
February 201642%37%
June 201641%38%
October 201642%40%
February 201746%36%
June 201743%40%
October 201743%40%
February 201848%36%
June 201846%37%
October 201850%35%
February 201949%35%
June 201949%34%
October 201947%35%
February 202049%37%
April 202043%43%
June 202041%47%
October 202041%44%
February 202139%41%
March 202141%46%
April 202142%42%
June 202141%43%
August 202135%52%
October 202140%48%
February 202240%46%
April 202239%51%
June 202231%59%
August 202236%52%
October 202237%50%
December 202239%46%
February 202335%51%
April 202337%50%
June 202338%49%
August 202333%55%
October 202337%50%
December 202338%49%
February 202444%44%
April 202443%45%
June 202441%48%

Unchanged from August, Texans continue to say that inflation and prices (15%) or the economy (10%) are the most important issues facing the country, with immigration (8%) and border security (8%) not far behind. A plurality of Texans, 47%, view the national economy as worse than one year ago, while 47% similarly rate their personal economic situation, while slightly fewer, 39%, say the Texas economy is worse compared to last year.

For a deeper look at responses to questions asked repeatedly about the performance of statewide leadership and assessments of the direction of the state and country as well as the health of the economy, see this post, updated to reflect the October 2023 polling data.

 

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