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Poll: Trump trounces Haley, beats Biden in Texas

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A new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll found that only 43% of Texas voters have a favorable view of President Joe Biden; 50% hold an unfavorable view across party lines.

In a presidential trial ballot, former President Donald Trump would beat Biden in Texas by seven points, according to the poll.

Nearly half of Texas voters, 49%, hold a favorable view of Trump compared to 45% who hold an unfavorable view.

When looking at polling trend data, Trump’s favorability is the highest it’s been in Texas since November 2015, according to UT/TPP data.

Among Republicans, Trump’s approval rating has been above 80% since February 2017. Democrats have only held a favorable view of him since December 2022 of 12%. Since then, it’s increased to 15% as of February 2024.

Approval and disapproval of Biden and Trump falls along party lines statewide, according to the data. The majority of Texas Democrats, 82%, have a favorable view of Biden and a 78% unfavorable view of Trump. Similarly, 86% of Republican voters hold an unfavorable view of Biden and an 83% favorable view of Trump.

Among independents, Trump is viewed more favorably than Biden primarily because voters have a more negative view of Biden than they do of Trump, the poll found.

Texas voters have a 44% unfavorable view of the former governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, with 28% expressing a favorable view.

Republicans voters in Texas prefer Trump to Haley by an overwhelming 80% to 9%, according to the poll. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is no longer running for president, receives 8% support. The Texas primary election is March 5.

According to the poll, 47% of Republicans are expected to vote in the primary compared to 39% in the Democratic primary.

“The 2024 primary elections in Texas are among the most contested and the most heated of any legislative primaries since the establishment of the near-monopoly of state government after the Republican sweep of the 2002 elections,” an analysis accompanying polling data states.

When it comes to the question of the legitimacy of the 2020 election, the poll found that 58% of Texas voters said Biden “legitimately won the 2020 presidential election;” 31% said he didn’t, 12% said they are unsure.

Among Republican voters, 59% said Biden did not legitimately win, 23% said he did and 18% said they were unsure. This compares to an August 2023 poll, that found that 69% of Republican voters said Biden did not legitimately win.

The most important issue facing Texas, voters said, is border security (24%), immigration (18%), political corruption (11%) and inflation (8%). The most important issue facing the country is inflation/rising prices (13%), immigration (12%), the economy (11%), and border security (10%).

When it comes to border security, 65% said they support Texas Gov. Greg Abbott constructing and/or repairing walls or physical barriers at the Texas-Mexico border, compared to 28% who oppose his efforts.

A majority, 57%, also said they support Texas installing buoys in the Rio Grande River; 36% said they don’t.

A greater majority of 66% said they support deploying additional state police and military resources to the border, compared to 27% who said they oppose doing so.

Texas is currently embroiled in three lawsuits over border barriers and buoys in Eagle Pass, Texas. Twenty-five Republican governors have expressed support for Texas’ right to defend its border. Multiple states have sued the Biden administration arguing it is violating laws established by Congress.

When it comes to the economy, 39% of voters polled said they were worse off economically under the current administration; 33% said their economic condition was about the same; 27% said they were better off.

Overall, Congress holds a 53% disapproval rating among Texas voters; 26% approve of Congress’ job; 17% neither approve nor disapprove.

In the U.S. Senate race, 60% of Democrats say they support U.S. Rep. Colin Allred over multiple challengers. Incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz holds a 54% favorability rating among Republicans.

In a trial ballot, Cruz defeats Allred by a vote of 46%-32%, with 9% saying they’d vote for someone else and 13% saying they hadn’t thought about it enough to have an opinion.

The poll was conducted among 1,200 registered voters from Feb. 2 to 12, 2024, and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83.

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