Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by just 6 points in Texas, according to a new poll from Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling. Trump leads Clinton, 44%-38%, with Libertarian Gary Johnson receiving 6% of respondents’ support and Green Jill Stein receiving 2%. One out of 10 respondents was undecided. Forced to choose only between Trump and Clinton, respondents preferred Trump, 50%-44%.
Trump leads Clinton head-to-head among Anglo voters, 69%-25%, and among voters aged 65 and older, 63%-33%. Clinton leads among all other voter groups, including 68%-27% among Hispanics/Latinos, 97%-3% among African-Americans and 43%-41% among women. Voters under 30 prefer Clinton by a 2-to-1 margin.
Forty percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Trump while 53% view him unfavorably, which is slightly better than Clinton’s 36/59. Just one in five Hispanics/Latinos and one in 10 African-Americans have a favorable opinion of Trump.
Self-identified “independent” voters favor Trump, 47%-37%, with 16% undecided. Six percent of each party’s self-identified members prefer the other party’s candidate.
Voters contacted by telephone prefer Trump, 56%-39%, while voters contacted by Internet prefer Clinton, 65%-26%.
As it did with North Carolina voters, PPP asked Texas voters about various messages connected to or repeated by Trump or his campaign:
- 71% of Trump’s Texas supporters believe a Clinton victory would occur “because the election results are rigged for her”
- 40% of Trump’s supporters believe ACORN “will steal the election for Clinton,” and another 40% are not sure
- 35% of Trump’s supporters believe “Obama founded ISIS,” and another 17% are not sure
These numbers are consistent with North Carolina voters. “Trump’s suggestions that the election will be stolen on Hillary Clinton’s behalf are getting lapped up by almost all of his supports,” said PPP President Dean Debnam in a press release accompanying the poll results. “It really exemplifies the cult-like aspect of his support.”
The poll of 944 “likely voters” was in the field August 12-14. PPP used a “list based sample” to identify the 80% of respondents it contacted via telephone. The remaining 20% sample was conducted among “respondents who did not have landlines” through an “opt-in Internet panel.”
PPP’s poll comes less than a week after a KTVT-TV/Dixie Strategies poll showed Trump leading Clinton. 46%-35%. That poll showed Clinton leading Trump among African-Americans, 71%-12%, which we at the time thought was out of step with recent electoral trends. PPP’s 97%-3% margin among African-Americans is more in line with recent trends.
In June, a UT/Texas Politics Project poll found Trump leading Clinton by eight points.
Trump’s single-digit lead is, in fact, closer to being typical than it is to being unusual, at least with respect to historical University of Texas polling. Consider these past statewide elections’ summer polling numbers:
- July 2008: John McCain 43%, Barack Obama 33% (+10)
- May 2010: Rick Perry 44%, Bill White 35% (+9)
- May 2012: Mitt Romney 46%, Barack Obama 38% (+8)
- June 2014: Greg Abbott 44%, Wendy Davis 32% (+12)
McCain won by 11, Perry by 13, Romney by 16 and Abbott by 20. Clinton’s single-digit deficit is also consistent with PPP’s past Texas polls. In April 2014, the firm found Clinton trailing U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, 50%-43%, in a hypothetical presidential race. That same survey called Cruz “the most popular politician in Texas.” In a January 2013 poll, PPP found that Clinton would narrowly win head-to-head races against Chris Christie and Marco Rubio and, by 8 points, over Gov. Rick Perry. In April 2012, PPP showed Mitt Romney with a 7-point lead over Barack Obama.
Trump’s low favorability among minority Texas voters is also fairly typical. In that April 2014 poll, PPP found that 27% of Hispanics/Latinos had a favorable opinion of Greg Abbott while 25% had an unfavorable opinion (48% “not sure”), and just 11% of African-Americans held a favorable opinion of Abbott while 51% viewed him unfavorably. Cruz’s net favorables were 32/38 and 15/60, respectively. However, Trump is viewed unfavorably by much larger swaths of minority voters than either Abbott or Cruz. PPP found that 72% of Hispanics/Latinos and 84% of African-Americans view Trump negatively, are far fewer are uncertain about their opinions.
The question is whether these high unfavorable numbers will translate into more votes for Clinton, who is viewed unfavorably by a third of Hispanics/Latinos and 10% of African-Americans (and 79% of Anglos).