A second poll is as many weeks shows presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton trailing presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump by a single-digit margin in Texas. The University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll of 1,200 registered voters shows Trump leading Clinton, 39%-32%. A Leland Beatty poll commissioned by several Democratic elected officials put Trump’s lead at 37%-30%.
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.
Trump’s 39% is the lowest of the Republican candidates out of this sample of polls, but it is unsurprising given the fact that a majority of Republican primary voters preferred someone else. Clinton’s 32% is also at the lower end of the Democratic candidates’ polling numbers.
As we have previously noted, neither presidential candidate is particularly well liked in Texas. The UT poll found both Trump (31% favorable/56% unfavorable) and Clinton (29/59) are underwater. Compared to the other candidates’ historical polling numbers, both are the least well regarded:
- July 2008: McCain (60/37), Obama (52/46)
- May 2010: Not polled
- May 2012: Romney (40/38), Obama (38/52)
- June 2014: Abbott (45/25), Davis (34/40)
The current UT poll found that 7% of respondents preferred Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. This, too, is consistent with past polls conducted in roughly the same time period before a general election:
- July 2008: Libertarian Bob Barr 5%, independent Ralph Nader 2%
- May 2010: “Someone else” 7%
- May 2012: “Someone else” 9%
- June 2014: Libertarian Kathie Glass 3%, Green Brandon Parmer 1%, “Someone else” 3%
Only one minor party or independent candidate received more than 2% in a general election since 2008 (Glass in 2010).
The UT poll was conducted by YouGov using its opt-in survey panel methodology. It was in the field June 10-20 and has a stated margin of error of ±3.52%.