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A pair of new polls shows President Trump leading Democratic challenger Joe Biden by 3 and 5 points. The New York Times/Siena Coll. poll (PDF) finds Trump leading Biden, 46%-43%. The latest Quinnipiac Univ. poll (PDF) shows Trump leading Biden, 50%-45%. This represents a 6-point shift toward Trump from Quinnipiac’s July poll, which found Biden leading Trump, 45%-44%.

In the U.S. Senate race, NYT/Siena finds U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) leading Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar, 43%-37%. Quinnipiac finds Cornyn leading Hegar, 50%-42%.

Both polls found most voters have already made up their minds about their presidential choices. NYT/Siena found more than nine out of 10 respondents said they would “definitely vote” for their favored candidate. Only 9% of respondents said they “could change” their mind. Of Quinnipiac poll respondents who favored a candidate, 94% said their “mind [was] made up” and only 5% said they “might change” their mind.

Demographic splits (NYT/Siena, Quinnipiac):

  • Men: Trump 52%-36%, Trump 55%-41%
  • Women: Biden 49%-41%, Biden 50%-46%
  • 65 and older: Trump 61%-34%, Trump 50%-46%
  • Young voters: Biden 60%-15% (ages 18-29), Biden 56%-42% (ages 18-34)
  • White voters: Trump 64%-28%, Trump 60%-37%
    • White voters with 4-year college degree: Trump 56%-37%, Trump 51%-45%
    • White voters w/o 4-year degree: Trump 72%-20%, Trump 67%-31%
  • Black voters: Biden 71%-7%, Biden 79%-19%
  • Hispanic/Latino voters: Biden 57%-32%, Biden 51%-43%
  • Independents: Biden 41%-37% (16% undecided), Biden 51%-43% (5% undecided)

The polls found generally consistent directions among each group, but the Quinnipiac magnitudes are generally smaller. This may be due in part because Quinnipiac found fewer voters were undecided or voting for someone else (4%) than the NYT/Siena poll (11%).

Favorability ratings (NYT/Siena, Quinnipiac):

  • Trump job approval: 51/45 (39/41 “strongly”), 50/48
  • Trump favorability: 50/48 (38/40 “very”), 49/47
  • Biden favorability: 50/47 (26/36 “very”), 41/52
  • Cornyn favorability: 45/28 (27% no opinion), 39/30 (30% “haven’t heard enough”)
  • Hegar favorability: 33/15 (51% no opinion), 29/19 (50% “haven’t heard enough”)

Quinnipiac’s questions were binary (favorable/unfavorable) while NYT/Siena’s questions provided five options, including a neutral option.

Better job (NYT/Siena, Quinnipiac):

  • Handling economy: Trump 55%-40%, Trump 58%-39%
  • Coronavirus response: Biden 47%-45%, Trump 49%-47%
  • Law & order, keeping family safe: Trump 50%-44%, Trump 52%-44%

Biden was favored for “handling racial inequality,” 50%-45% (Quinnipiac) and for “unifying America,” 49%-41% (NYT/Siena). Trump was slightly favored for handling immigration, 48%-46% (NYT/Siena).

Other NYT/Siena highlights: Voters expressing support for Trump were four times more likely to be “for Trump” (74%) than “against Biden” (18%). Biden’t supporters were, on balance, more evenly divided between those “for Biden” (51%) and those “against Trump” (45%).

This dynamic is especially evident with voters under age 30, for whom being “against Trump” (70%) was a much stronger motivation than being “for Biden” (26%). The motivations of Trump supporters under age 30 was exactly the opposite: 71% were “for Trump” and 29% were “against Biden.” That said, voters under 30 preferred Biden over Trump, 60%-15%.

Voters are more likely to believe Trump’s policies have “helped people like you” (44%) than “hurt people like you” (27%). Prospective views of Biden’s policies are more widely viewed as hurting (43%) than helping (31%). Among independents, Trump’s help/hurt ratio is 34/23 and Biden’s is 21/42.

The poll of 653 likely voters was in the field September 16-22. It has a ±4.3% margin of error for the full sample and larger margins of error for demographic splits.

Other Quinnipiac highlights: Overall, the four most important issues “in deciding who to vote for” were the economy (25%), law and order (18%), coronavirus (16%) and racial inequality (11%). Just 7% said health care was most important, one point behind Supreme Court. Immigration and climate change tied at 4% each.

Among independents, the top four were the same at almost identical levels of importance: economy (24%), law and order (17%), coronavirus (15%) and racial inequality (13%).

The top issues for each age group varies:

  • 18-34: economy (29%), racial inequality (22%)
  • 35-49: economy (26%), law and order (17%)
  • 50-64: economy (26%), law and order (25%)
  • 65+: coronavirus (26%), economy (18%).

The poll of 1,078 likely voters was in the field September 17-21 and has a ±3.0% margin of error.

Texas Presidential Polls

  • Trump 50, Biden 45 – Quinnipiac Univ. (September) – LV
  • Trump 46, Biden 43 – NYT/Siena Coll. (September) – LV
  • Trump 48, Biden 46 – CBS News/YouGov (September) – LV
  • Trump 46, Biden 46 – Morning Consult (September) – LV
  • Trump 48, Biden 47 – Public Policy Polling (September) – V
  • Trump 48, Biden 46 – DMN/UT-Tyler (September) – LV
  • Biden 48, Trump 45 – Data for Progress (September) – LV
  • Trump 48, Biden 47 – Morning Consult (August) – LV
  • Biden 48, Trump 44 – Tyson Group (August) – LV
  • Biden 48, Trump 47 – Public Policy Polling (August) – V
  • Biden 47, Trump 45 – Global Strategy Group (August) – LV
  • Trump 48, Biden 41 – YouGov/THPF (August) – RV
  • Trump 49, Biden 43 – Trafalgar Group (August) – LV
  • Trump 47, Biden 46 – Morning Consult (August) – LV
  • Biden 47, Trump 45 – Morning Consult (July) – LV
  • Trump 49, Biden 45 – SPRY Strategies (July) – LV
  • Biden 45, Trump 44 – Quinnipiac Univ. (July) – RV
  • Trump 46, Biden 45 – CBS News/YouGov (July) – RV
  • Trump 46, Biden 44 – Gravis/OANN (July) – LV
  • Biden 48, Trump 43 – DMN/UT-Tyler (July) – LV
  • Trump 48, Biden 44 – UT/Texas Politics Project (July) – RV
  • Biden 45, Trump 44 – Fox News (June) – RV
  • Trump 48, Biden 46 – Public Policy Polling (June) – V
  • Trump 48, Biden 48 – Public Policy Polling (June) – V
  • Trump 44, Biden 43 – Quinnipiac Univ. (June) – RV
  • Trump 47, Biden 41 – Emerson (May) – RV
  • Trump 50, Biden 43 – Morning Consult (May) – LV
  • Trump 43, Biden 43 – DMN/UT-Tyler (May) – RV
  • Biden 47, Trump 46 – Public Policy Polling (April) – V
  • Trump 49, Biden 44 – UT/Texas Tribune (April) – RV
  • Trump 45, Biden 44 – DMN/UT-Tyler (March) – RV
  • Trump 49, Biden 45 – Marist Coll. (February) – RV
  • Trump 46, Biden 43 – Univision/Univ. of Houston (February) – RV
  • Biden 48, Trump 47 – CNN/SSRS (February) – RV
  • Trump 47, Biden 43 – UT/Texas Tribune (February) – RV
  • Trump 44, Biden 42 – DMN/UT-Tyler (February) – RV
  • Trump 51, Biden 46 – Texas Lyceum (January) – LV
  • Trump 48, Biden 47 – CNN/SSRS (December 2019) – RV
  • Trump 45, Biden 39 – DMN/UT-Tyler (November 2019) – RV
  • Trump 46, Biden 39 – UT/Texas Tribune (November 2019) – RV

Links go to our coverage or commentary on the polls. If there is no link, then we either did not see the poll or otherwise did not have enough information to report on it. Legend: LV-Likely Voters, RV-Registered Voters, V-Voters

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC