A new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll finds President Trump leading presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, 48%-44%.

“Independents,” comprising 12% of respondents, preferred Trump, 41%-27%, with nearly a third undecided. The poll found a 10-point gap between men and women. Men preferred Trump, 53%-41%, while women preferred Biden, 48%-43%. Biden led among Hispanic/Latino voters, 46%-39%.

Trump’s job approval rating was 46/48, with 32% strongly approving and 42% strongly disapproving. “Independents” rated him at 36/50, his worst rating among this group in UT polls since he took office. Men rated his job performance as 52/42, while women rated him 41/53 with 47% disapproving strongly. His approval rating among voters under 30 was 27/63 with 52% disapproving strongly.

Asked about the direction of the country, 62% said the U.S. was on the wrong track, the highest such percentage since President Obama was in office. Just 30% said the country was headed in the right direction, down 9 points from April, but still above every such mark during the Obama administration dating back to October 2012. Independents aligned closer to Democrats than Republicans on the country’s direction as 70% said the U.S. was on the wrong track compared to 91% of Democrats and 33% of Republicans.

The online survey of 1,200 self-declared registered voters was conducted online by YouGov and in the field June 19-29. The stated margin of error is ±2.8%.

Meanwhile, a new poll (PDF) from Democrat-aligned Public Policy Polling finds Biden leading Trump, 48%-46%, and Trump’s approval rating at 46/51. The poll of 729 “Texas voters” was conducted June 24-25. No crosstabs or margin of error were provided in the poll summary.

Early voting continues for the July 14 primary runoff and special elections. Voting in person pauses tomorrow (Friday) and resumes either Sunday or Monday, depending on the county, for the Fourth of July holiday.

Through the first three days, more people have voted in this year’s Democratic runoff (196K) in the 15 counties with the most registered voters than during the entire 5-day early voting period in 2018. All 15 counties are continuing to see the highest Democratic runoff vote total since at least 2012. Just under 83K people have voted in the Republican runoff in those counties, which is slightly behind 2018 but understandable since neither Dallas nor Williamson Co. has any Republican runoff races this year.

Statewide, 258K people have voted in the Democratic runoff so far, which is 1.6% of registered voters. Just over 54% of Democratic votes so far have been cast by mail. Statewide Republican turnout is 1.1% (176K votes cast) with 43% of those voters casting mail ballots.

HD60: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) starred in a new ad for Republican runoff candidate Jon Francis.

Republican Convention: By a 40-20 vote, the State Republican Executive Committee approved going ahead with an in-person state convention in Houston in two weeks, July 16-18, as originally scheduled.

SEN: A new Public Policy Polling poll (PDF) found U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) leading Democratic runoff candidate M.J. Hegar, 42%-35%, with 23% “not sure.” Cornyn’s approval rating was 27/34, and nearly two out of every five respondents were not sure. Hegar’s rating was 17/17 with two-thirds uncertain. Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), Hegar’s runoff opponent, was not included in this poll. The poll of 729 “Texas voters” was conducted June 24-25. No crosstabs or margin of error were provided in the poll summary.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) endorsed Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) in the runoff over M.J. Hegar.

Race Ratings: National pundit Larry Sabato moved four Texas congressional seats to “likely Republican” from safe Republican:

  • CD2, held by U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston)
  • CD3, held by U.S. Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano)
  • CD6, held by U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington); and
  • CD25, held by U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin).

Back in April, we rated all four of these districts as “lean Republican.”

Mail Ballot Suit: In a one-sentence order (PDF), the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Texas Democratic Party’s request to expedite proceedings on its federal lawsuit seeking to expand eligibility for absentee voting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Court declined to reinstate a federal judge’s injunction that would have expanded that eligibility.

Recent Presidential Polls

  • 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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