By Jeff Blaylock – Founder & Senior Editor

JUNE. 20, 2024

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Former President Trump leads President Biden by 7 points in Texas, according to the latest UT/Texas Politics Project poll. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is.

The UT/TPP poll has consistently shown Trump ahead by 6-8 points since last year:

  • Trump 46%-39% (+7) – June 2024
  • Trump 48%-40% (+8) – April 2024
  • Trump 48%-41% (+7) – February 2024
  • Trump 45%-39% (+6) – December 2023
  • Trump 45%-37% (+8) – October 2023

Recall the outcome of the 2020 presidential race? Trump carried Texas over Biden, 52%-46%. Sensing a pattern?

Here’s another one. Trump’s lead is slightly larger even as his overall vote percentage drops, when more candidates are thrown in the mix. The five data points above all envisioned a horse race with Trump and Biden being the only named candidates. Add more candidates, and some of the major party nominees’ supporters defect.

  • Trump 43%-34% (+9) with 12% going to other named candidates – June 2024
  • Trump 45%-36% (+9) with 12% choosing other named candidates – April 2024
  • Trump 45%-36% (+9) with 11% choosing other named candidates – February 2024
  • Trump 42%-34% (+8) with 13% choosing other named candidates – December 2023

The October 2023 poll did not include additional candidates in any of the horserace questions and instead pitted Biden against several then-contenders for the Republican nomination.

When the other candidates’ names are left out of the horse race question, which leaves a choice of Trump, Biden or “someone else.” While some stick to choosing neither Trump nor Biden, some go ahead and choose one of them. Biden tends to go up a little more than Trump in those instances, which is also a fairly consistent pattern over the past couple of years.

“Someone else” tends to get higher support in such polls than any actual person would or, in the case of the polls, any actual minor party or independent candidate’s name. In turn, any actual minor party or independent candidate tends to get more support in polls than in the election. In 2020, the collection of candidates not named Trump or Biden cobbled together just over 1% of the vote.

Much of the steadiness in the polls may be related to the fact that most voters long ago made up their minds about this race. Those that haven’t are probably among the large number of people who ultimately do not vote. That is certainly one of the reasons “someone else” fares better than any actual someone. Their “supporters” are simply less likely to vote.

There is still enough time before the election for the electorate’s mood to change, but there’s very little margin over which that change can occur. I would not be the least bit surprised to see Trump maintaining a 5-8 point lead through October.