PPP’s new Texas poll finds a relatively tight race, at least on the curve of recent Presidential election results in the state. Donald Trump leads with 44% to 38% for Hillary Clinton, 6% for Gary Johnson, 2% for Jill Stein, and less than half a percent (0) for Evan McMullin. In a head to head contest Trump leads Clinton 50-44 in the state, which Mitt Romney won by 16 points in 2012.
A Democratic victory in Texas this year remains a stretch but within the numbers there are signs of Democrats being positioned to become seriously competitive there in the years ahead. Trump’s lead is based entirely on his holding a 63-33 advantage among seniors. With voters under 65, Clinton leads him 49-45. And when you look just specifically at voters under 45, Clinton leads Trump 60-35. Older voters are overwhelmingly responsible for the Republican advantage in Texas, and generational change is likely to help Democrats become more competitive.
A big piece of that generational change is the increasing racial diversity of the electorate in Texas. Trump has a 69/25 lead with white voters but the reason the state’s so competitive overall is that among non-white voters Clinton has a 73-21 lead, including a 68-27 edge with the state’s booming Hispanic population.
Clinton’s unpopular in Texas, as you would expect, with a 36/59 favorability rating. But Trump’s not a whole lot better off with only 40% of voters seeing him favorably to 53% with a negative opinion. The tax return issue continues to plague Trump with 64% of voters thinking he needs to release his returns to only 25% who don’t think it’s necessary for him to. Even Trump’s supporters, by a 43/41 spread, think he should release them. Another issue that has the potential to cause Trump problems down the road is if he refuses to participate in the debates as scheduled. 77% of voters think he needs to do that to only 14% who don’t think he needs to and among his own supporters there’s an even stronger sentiment- 82/12- that Trump needs to participate. If Trump is stubborn about that it could cause the bottom to fall out on his support even further.
We continue to find that Trump voters overwhelmingly buy into his preemptive claims about the election being rigged. Just 19% of Trump voters grant that if Clinton wins the election it will be because she got more votes, while 71% say that it will just be because the election was rigged. More specifically 40% of Trump voters think that ACORN, which hasn’t existed in years, will steal the election for Clinton to only 20% who don’t think it will, and only 20% who are unsure. Some things Trump says are a step too far even for his support base though. We find that ‘just’ 35% of Trump supporters think Barack Obama founded ISIS, to 48% who don’t think he’s responsible for that.
Finally we polled on Texas secession. Overall 26% of voters would support leaving the United States to 59% who want to stay, and 15% who aren’t sure either way. Among Trump voters support for secession goes up to 37%, with only 49% opposed to exiting. If you look at the Presidential race in Texas only among voters who are opposed to seceding from the United State, Clinton leads Trump 54/41. But that’s offset by Trump’s 72/20 advantage with the secession crowd. If Clinton is elected President this fall, the Trump voters really want out- in that case 61% say they’d support seceding from the United States, to only 29% who would stick around.
Full results here