A questionable new poll from Emerson College (pdf) gives Donald Trump a 14-point lead over Hillary Clinton in Texas, which is just about the same margin as Mitt Romney’s over President Obama in 2012. It is the second poll this week to show a double-digit spread. However, Trump is not over 50% and minor party candidates are polling well above their historical performances. The way the sample was contacted and some other interesting results raise questions as to how the poll’s results translate to voters as a whole.

Donald Trump


Hillary Clinton


Overall, Trump leads Clinton, 49%-35%, with Libertarian Gary Johnson receiving 5% support and Green Jill Stein receiving 4%. Another 7% are undecided. Trump led Clinton by 6 points in Emerson’s early September poll. Her support has remained flat since then while Trump’s has grown, mostly at the expense of minor-party candidates.

Trump leads among men, 51%-32%, and women, 47%-37%. He leads among Anglo voters, 55%-31%.

Clinton leads among voters under age 35, 53%-27%, but trails among each bloc of older voters. In an interesting result, Clinton’s lead among African-Americans is just 8 points (45%-37%), far, far below historical performance and most other polls’ results. In perhaps a more interesting result, Trump leads among Hispanics/Latinos, 44%-38%. In a third interesting result, most of Johnson’s support appears to come from Anglo women between 35 and 54 years of age. None of these findings is consistent with other recent polling data.

The Emerson poll was conducted October 31-November 1 among 700 “likely general election voters using an interactive voice response system via landlines online (This obviously leaves out large chunks of the electorate.). Its stated margin of error is ±3.6%. Margins of error are considerably higher for all of the demographic and age groups, since they are fractions of the whole sample.

2016 Presidential Polls of Texas Voters

Emerson: Trump 49, Clinton 35, Johnson 5, Stein 4 (Nov. 2016)
Our Take: Questionable Emerson Poll Has Trump Up 14

KTVT/Dixie Strategies: Trump 52, Clinton 39, Johnson 3, Stein <1 (Oct. 2016)
Our Take: New Poll First to Show Trump Over 50

UT/Texas Tribune: Trump 45, Clinton 42, Johnson 7, Stein 2 (Oct. 2016)
Our Take: UT/TT Poll: Trump 45, Clinton 42

Crosswind/AAS: Trump 45, Clinton 38, Johnson 7 (Oct. 2016)
Our Take: Crosswind: Trump by 7

CBS News/YouGov: Trump 46, Clinton 43, Johnson 5, Stein 1 (Oct. 2016)
Our Take: Trump’s Lead Within Margin of Error in YouGov Poll

U of H Hobby School: Trump 41, Clinton 38, Johnson 4, Stein 1 (Oct. 2016)
Our Take: Polls Continue to Show Narrowing Trump Lead in Texas

WFAA/SurveyUSA: Trump 47, Clinton 43, Johnson 3, Stein 1 (Oct. 2016)
Our Take: New Poll Suggests Tightening Presidential Race

KTVT/Dixie Strategies: Trump 45, Clinton 38, Johnson 4, Stein 1 (Oct. 2016)
Our Take: Another Poll Shows Trump with Single-digit Lead

Lyceum: Trump 39, Clinton 32, Johnson 9, Stein 3 (Sept. 2016)
Our take: Lyceum Poll: Trump 39, Clinton 32
Our take: Non-voters More Likely to Identify with Democrats

Emerson: Trump 42, Clinton 36, Johnson 10, Stein 6 (Sept. 2016)
Our take: Another Poll Shows Single-digit Trump Lead

WaPo/SurveyMonkey: Trump 40, Clinton 40, Johnson 11, Stein 3 (Sept. 2016)
Our take: Texas a Toss-up State in New ‘Poll’

Public Policy Polling: Trump 44, Clinton 38, Johnson 6, Stein 2 (Aug. 2016)
Our take: New Poll: Trump 44, Clinton 38 in Texas

KTVT/Dixie Strategies: Trump 46, Clinton 35, “another candidate” 9 (Aug. 2016)
Our take: Polls, Pledges and Gerrymanders: News for August 11

UT/Texas Politics Project: Trump 39, Clinton 32, Johnson 7, “someone else” 14 (June 2016)
Our take: Second Poll Puts Clinton Within 10 of Trump in Texas

Beatty: Trump 37, Clinton 30, Johnson 3 (June 2016)
Our take: Poll: A Third of Texans Undecided for President