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UT/Texas Politics Project Poll: Trump, Cruz lead races as campaigns gear up

(The Center Square) – Former president Donald Trump maintains a lead over President Joe Biden in both one-on-one and multicandidate trial ballots, according to the results of the latest June 2024 University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll.

Trump maintains a 7-point lead over Biden, 46% to 39%, in a head-to-headmatch-up in Texas. He leads by 9 points, 43% to 34%, in a trial ballot including independent and third-party candidates, according to the poll.

The results are similar to the university’s April poll, which had Trump leading 48% to 40% head-to-head and 45% to 36% in the multicandidate poll.

The findings are consistent with a March The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, which found that 84% of Trump voters would vote for him in November even if he was convicted of a felony before the election. The poll was conducted before he was found guilty of 34 felony counts earlier this month. Multiple polls conducted after the verdict found that Trump still led Biden in the polls, The Center Square reported.

The UT/TPP poll was conducted from May 31 to June 9 among 1,200 registered Texas voters. Data collection began the day after Trump’s guilty verdict.

The poll found that more than half of Texas Republican voters said, “his conviction makes them more likely to vote for him in November. The convictions have had only a small impact on the overall shape of the Presidential race in Texas less than five months before Election Day,” an analysis of the data states.

When asked whether Trump’s conviction makes voters more or less likely to support him, 62% of Republicans said, “more likely;” only 7% said “less likely.” Among Democrats, 51% said less likely, 13% more likely. Independents were evenly split; 27% said more likely; 28% said less likely.

Jim Henson, executive director at the Texas Politics Project, said in an email analysis of the data, “If the conviction had any impact, it’s merely to reinforce partisans’ previously held views.”

Voters were also split on whether or not they felt Trump’s trial was fair: 75% of Republicans said it wasn’t; 87% of Democrats said it was. Independents were more evenly split, with 44% saying it was and 34% saying it wasn’t.

When it comes to a key statewide race in November, incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is leading his challenger, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, a Democrat from Dallas. Despite some political pundits claiming Allred has a chance to unseat Cruz, he’s trailing in the polls and is struggling with name recognition.

Cruz leads Allred 45% to 34%, according to the UT/TPP poll.Among those surveyed, 6% said they were choosing “someone else;” 14% said they were undecided.

“Allred is still climbing a steep hill in his first statewide campaign,” Henson notes, with 41% expressing having no opinion … only a slight improvement from the preceding poll in April. These totals include 30% of Democrats.”

Texas overall are evenly divided on their opinion of Cruz, with 44% holding a positive view and 44% an unfavorable one. The number jumps among Republicans, 77% of whom hold a positive view.

When it comes tooverall job approval rating of state and federal office holders, only Gov. Greg Abbott has a favorable approval rating of 50%. When asked about five incumbents, voters expressed low favorability, even disapproving more than approving of some.

Texans’ views on incumbents’ job performance also “dipped a little compared to recent polls,” the analysis of the data states.

Gov. Abbott has the highest approval rating of 50% compared to a 39% disapproval rating.

Significantly less, 39%, hold a favorable view of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s job performance, with 34% disapproving.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan has an even lower approval rating of 24%, with 30% disapproving.

More voters disapprove (38%) than approve (36%) of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s job performance.

Among Texas’ two U.S. senators, more disapprove (38%) than approve (32%) of John Cornyn’s job performance. Sen. Ted Cruz has a higher approval rating of 46%, with 42% disapproving.

Nationally, Texas voters overwhelmingly disapprove of the job performance of the president, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Their disapproval ratings are 52%, 57% and 42%, respectively.

Only 20% of Texas voters expressed a favorable view of Congress; 36% of the Supreme Court and 39% of the president.

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