Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Trump, 48%-43%, among Texas “likely voters,” according to a new Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler poll (pdf). It is his largest lead for any Texas poll we’ve seen this cycle, and it is the first lead for either candidate outside of a poll’s margin of error since November. Biden’s lead is just barely outside the margin of error. A May DMN/UT-Tyler poll found the race tied, 43%-43%.

Independents favor Biden, 44%-25%, with another 20% undecided. Splits for other demographic groups were not provided.

Asked about how several levels of government were “handling the coronavirus outbreak,” 62% of respondents approved local leaders’ (mayor and county judge) responses, compared to 48% for Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and 38% for Trump. Interestingly, a greater share of Republicans (70%) approve of their local leaders’ responses than either Democrats (61%) or independents (51%), and a greater share of Republicans (73%) supported “allowing Texas cities and counties to set their own requirements for wearing masks in public” than Democrats (63%) or independents (63%).

Trump’s overall job performance rating was 42/50 with 42% “strong disapprov[ing],” and his performance rating for his pandemic response is 38/52 with 44% “strongly disapprov[ing].”

Independents’ approval rating for Trump’s handling of the pandemic is 36/51, with 41% “strongly disapprov[ing].” This mirrors another question’s result about “how much do you trust President Trump” to “keep your community healthy and safe.” A majority (55%) of independents have “no confidence” in Trump’s trustworthiness, and their overall assessment is 30/66. Overall, Trump’s trustworthiness with respect to the pandemic is 42/56.

Overall job performance ratings for Abbott were 54/31 (independents 40/35), 37/37 for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (independents 25/41) and 42/50 for Trump (independents 26/58).

Looking at the Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate, M.J. Hegar leads Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), 32%-20%, with 37% undecided. She leads among Democratic primary voters (33%-23%), Hispanic/Latino voters (24%-21%) and women (27%-21%). West leads among Black voters (30%-21%), a surprisingly small edge. In potential general election matchups, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) leads Hegar, 37%-26%, with 31% undecided, and West, 37%-25%, with 32% undecided. In an interesting finding, Cornyn and Hegar are virtually tied among independents, but Cornyn leads West by 8 points (28%-20%) among the same group.

A slim majority, 52%-48%, said they would vote for the generic Democrat over a generic Republican for the Texas House.

“Moderate, middle of the road” voters represent 32% of self-identified Democrats, versus 41% who identified themselves as liberal (28%) or extremely liberal (13%). Moderates also comprise a plurality of self-identified independents (43%), who otherwise trend slightly more conservative (21% are “conservative” or “extremely conservative”) than liberal (14%). About one in seven Republicans said they were “moderate,” while 62% were conservative (36%) or extremely conservative (26%).

Nearly half of Republicans believe “the threat of coronavirus has been blown out of proportion” compared to 36% of independents and 24% of Democrats. Nearly three quarters of Republicans strongly agreed (50%) or agreed (24%) that China was responsible for the pandemic compared to 44% of independents (28% strongly) and 47% of Democrats (23% strongly).

The poll of 1,909 “likely voters” was conducted in English and Spanish and was in the field June 29-July 7. The full sample has a stated margin of error of ±2.24%. The Democratic primary runoff sample has a stated margin of error of ±3.27%.

Recent Presidential Polls

  • Trump 48, Biden 44 – UT/Texas Politics Project (July)
  • Biden 45, Trump 44 – Fox News (June)
  • Trump 48, Biden 46 – Public Policy Polling (June)
  • Trump 48, Biden 48 – Public Policy Polling (June)
  • Trump 44, Biden 43 – Quinnipiac Univ. (June)
  • Trump 47, Biden 41 – Emerson (May)
  • Trump 43, Biden 43 – DMN/UT-Tyler (May)
  • Biden 47, Trump 46 – Public Policy Polling (April)
  • Trump 49, Biden 44 – UT/Texas Tribune (April)
  • Trump 45, Biden 44 – DMN/UT-Tyler (March)
  • Trump 46, Biden 43 – Univision/Univ. of Houston (February)
  • Biden 48, Trump 47 – CNN/SSRS (February)
  • Trump 47, Biden 43 – UT/Texas Tribune (February)
  • Trump 44, Biden 42 – DMN/UT-Tyler (February)
  • Trump 51, Biden 46 – Texas Lyceum (January)
  • Trump 48, Biden 47 – CNN/SSRS (December 2019)
  • Trump 45, Biden 39 – DMN/UT-Tyler (November 2019)
  • Trump 46, Biden 39 – UT/Texas Tribune (November 2019)

Links go to our coverage or commentary on the polls.

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