Three out of five Texans believe the state is on the wrong track, according to a new Univ. of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll. The 59% wrong track number is the highest in the 14-year history of the poll. Just 31% of respondents believe the state is heading in the right direction.
Republicans represent much of that 31%, but just 52% of Republicans believe the state is headed in the right direction while 36% believe it is on the wrong track. Predictably, Democrats overwhelmingly believe the state is on the wrong track (11/83), but independents are also pessimistic, with 18% saying the state is headed in the right direction and 67% saying it is on the wrong track. The poll found a significant difference between men (41/50) and women’s (23/66) assessment of the state’s direction. Hispanic/Latino voters view the state’s path generally unfavorably (23/68), nearly the same as Black voters (21/69).
Unsurprisingly, Texas voters are even more pessimistic about the direction of the nation. Just one in six – mostly Democrats – believe the country is headed in the right direction while three quarters believe it is on the wrong track. Republicans (9/90) are decidedly unhappy with the direction of the Nation, and Democrats aren’t much happier (26/59). Independents (9/83), rural residents (11/84) and voters in domestic partnerships (5/86) are particularly pessimistic.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s job approval rating is slightly negative on balance (43/46). Republicans (77/11) and Democrats (6/86) are about where we would expect them to be, but independents have a surprisingly negative (27/55) opinion of Abbott’s performance.
One might think that opens the door for Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, but independents don’t view him favorably either (26/46). Abbott leads O’Rourke, 45%-39%, overall and 32%-22% among independents. O’Rourke narrowly leads among women, 42%-39%, while Abbott leads among men, 51%-35%.
Former President Trump’s favorability remains slightly underwater at 42/48 (26/41 “very”) with Republicans (76/12, 48/5 “very”) and Democrats (5/90, 2/85 “very”) being about where one would expect them to be. Independents are negatively inclined toward Trump (27/51, 15/38 “very”). Trump is viewed highly favorably by voters with less than a high school education (69/21, 63/15 “very”), pro-life voters (70/19, 49/13 “very”) and by voters who attend church more than once a week (61/24, 39/20 “very”).
Republicans lead the generic ballot for Congress and the Legislature by an identical 46%-41% margin. Independents favor Republican congressional candidates (28%-21%) and legislative candidates (30%-19%), but a slim majority of them “haven’t thought enough about it.” Hispanic/Latino voters narrowly favor Democratic congressional candidates (47%-39%) and legislative candidates (46%-40%).
Just one in five Republicans think President Biden “legitimately won the 2020 president election” while two thirds disagree. A majority of every group classified by educational attainment think Biden legitimately won except for voters with less than a high school education. Seven in 10 of them think Biden did not win the election legitimately. The same is true when asked about the accuracy of official election results nationally: 60% of voters with less than a high school education believe national results are somewhat (33%) or very (27%) inaccurate. Not so with Texas election results – 79% of voters with less than a high school education believe Texas results are very (26%) or somewhat (53%) accurate.
Negative views toward Biden’s job performance are broader. Overall, 35% approve and 55% disapprove of Biden’s job performance. Independents (14/66) are about on the same wavelength as voters with less than a high school education (18/75) and rural voters (20/71).
The poll of 1,200 registered voters was in the field June 16-24, placing it between the mass shooting in Uvalde and the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. It has a ±2.83% margin of error for the full sample.
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