Coronavirus concerns may be having an impact on voters’ choices in November, according to a new Quinnipiac Univ. Texas Poll (pdf). Nearly two-thirds of voters believe the spread of the virus is “out of control,” and about the same percentage said they know someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, up 31 points since the university’s poll in early June. Four out of five respondents approve of Gov. Greg Abbott’s order requiring most Texans to wear masks in public, and 52% believe he reopened the state’s economy “too quickly.”

However, Abbott’s overall approval rating has taken a hit with nearly equal numbers of respondents approving and disapproving of his handling of the pandemic response. The 47/48 rating is down significantly from June’s 56/36 approval rating. His overall job approval rating is down to 48/44 from 56/32. There has been virtually no change in voters’ assessment of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic response (45/52) and overall job performance (45/51) since early June.

Trump trails presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, 45%-44%. Independents favor Biden, 51%-32%, and he trails by just 7 points, 49%-42%, among college-educated Anglo voters. The gender gap remains pronounced. Men favor Trump, 48%-39%, while women favor Biden, 49%-40%. Biden’s overall approval rating of 38/49 is slightly worse than Trump’s, but it is better among independent voters (42/42) than Trump (30/59).

The poll finds U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) leading M.J. Hegar, 47%-38%. Cornyn’s favorability rating is 41/24 with more than a third of respondents saying they “haven’t heard enough” to form an opinion of the state’s senior U.S. Senator, and his job performance rating is 41/35. Hegar’s favorability rating is 24/19 with 56% of respondents having no opinion.

The poll of 880 “self-identified registered voters” was conducted by live interviewers via landlines and mobile devices. It was in the field July 16-20 and has a stated margin of error of ±3.3% for the full sample. Self-identified Democrats represented 26% of the sample, smaller than either Republicans (34%) or independents (33%).

CD3 (Lean Republican): The campaign of Democratic challenger Lulu Seikaly released an internal poll showing her trailing U.S. Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano), 43%-37%, despite being “familiar to just 18% of voters,” and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump, 47%-45%. Global Strategy Group conducted the July 17-20 telephone survey of 400 “likely general election voters” in CD3. The stated margin of error is ±4.9%.

The precincts that currently comprise CD3 have grown steadily friendlier toward Democratic candidates. In 2018, the district was 1.8 percentage points redder than the state as a whole, closer to even than in 2012 (8.2 points redder) and 2002 (17.4 points redder).

Hotline Race Ratings: Three Republican-held Texas districts are among the top seven U.S. House seats likeliest to flip in the Hotline’s latest national House Power Rankings. CD23 open ranks first nationally, CD22 open ranks sixth and CD24 open ranks seventh. We rated CD23 as Lean Democratic and the other two as Toss-ups in our most recent assessment.

Recent Presidential Polls

  • Biden 48, Trump 43 – DMN/UT-Tyler (July)
  • 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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