A newly released poll by Texas Lyceum, a nonpartisan statewide leadership group, found that a majority of Texans do not approve of Donald Trump’s presidency as he approaches 100 days in office.
The poll found that 54 percent of Texans disapprove of Trump while 42 percent approve, although the split is mostly along party lines. The president remains popular with Republicans, as 85 percent approve of him, but 86 percent of Democrats do not approve of his actions in office.
Young Texans are not happy with Trump, as 73 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds do not approve of his job in office.
Sixty percent of non-Hispanic whites approve of Trump, while 61 percent of Hispanics and 82 percent of African Americans disapprove. Sixty-three percent of voters classified as “other” also disapprove of the president.
One potential positive in the poll numbers for the president is that a plurality of Texans said immigration was the most important issue facing the country and the state, meaning the president could generate enthusiasm among the Republican base for his tough-on-immigration rhetoric and policies.
Trump captured just over 52 percent of the Texas vote in the November elections, the worst showing for a Republican presidential candidate in Texas since Bob Dole won 48 percent of the vote in 1996.
The approval results are nearly the opposite for Gov. Greg Abbott, who is up for re-election in 2018. A majority of Texans, 53 percent, approve of the job Abbott is doing while 31 percent disapprove. A plurality of Hispanics, 49 percent, also approve of Abbott’s job performance. Abbott ranked as the nation’s seventh most popular governor in a separate poll released last week.
While Abbott does not yet have a challenger for 2018, the Lyceum poll also tracked two races where Democrats have jumped in. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is tied with Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, at 30 percent while Cruz trails Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio by 35 percent to 31 percent.
Castro has not formally entered the race, while O’Rourke announced his candidacy in late March. Cruz is polling within the margin of error against the two lesser-known Democrats, and 37 percent of Texans said they hadn’t thought about the race yet.
“Ballot tests conducted this far in advance of an actual election are, at best, useful in gauging the potential weaknesses of incumbents seeking re-election,” said Daron Shaw, a University of Texas professor who helped to conduct the poll. “But the substantial percentage of undecided respondents — coupled with the conservative, pro-Republican proclivities of the Texas electorate in recent years — suggest a cautious interpretation.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also trails his Democratic opponent, Houston-area accountant Mike Collier, by 27 percent to 25 percent, but nearly half of the poll’s respondents have not thought about this race yet. Collier ran statewide for Texas comptroller in 2014 and lost with just under 38 percent of the vote.
The poll was conducted from April 3 to April 9, and 1,000 Texans were contacted by landlines or cellphones. Questions were asked in English or Spanish. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.