Texas Hispanics Prefer Biden; Trump Leads Overall in State

August 17, 2020

(Dallas, Texas, August 17, 2020) – Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by a relatively modest margin among Hispanic voters in Texas, suggesting that Hispanics will have a pivotal role in deciding who wins the state this fall, according to new polling from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (THPF) and Rice University’s Baker Institute. But Trump maintains a lead among all Texas voters.

The poll, which was also sponsored by the Dallas Morning News, shows Trump leads Biden by 7 percentage points among registered voters and by 5.4 percentage points among the state’s most likely voters. However, among registered Hispanic voters, Biden leads by 9.5 percentage points.

The survey, which was conducted between August 4 and August 13 among a representative sample of 846 Texas registered voters with a Hispanic oversample, suggests the Hispanic vote in Texas is increasingly up for grabs.

This polling is the first major research initiative of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group established to analyze the opinions and behaviors of Hispanic Texans.

“This poll reinforces the fact that Hispanic voters are not monolithic and have a unique perspective on this race vis a vis Hispanics in other states,” said THPF President Jason Villalba. “There is a clear gender gap among Hispanic voters, as well as differences based on age, religion and educational attainment. Despite Biden’s nearly 10% lead, neither presidential candidate has yet to completely lock down the Texas Hispanic vote. For a presidential candidate to compete in Texas, clearly, Hispanics are the key constituency.”

“The results of this data show you can’t take the Hispanic vote for granted,” said former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a member of the THPF Board of Directors. “If you want our support, you better work for it.”

The race for the U.S. Senate in Texas is breaking along similar lines as the presidential contest. Republican Sen. John Cornyn leads Democratic challenger MJ Hegar by 7 percentage points among all registered voters and 6.1 percentage points among the most likely voters. But Hegar leads by 8.6 percentage points among Hispanic voters, 19.4% of whom remain undecided.

According to THPF Director of Research and Analytics Mark P. Jones, “Texas Hispanics will play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the presidential and U.S. Senate races in Texas. While these survey results indicate Republicans Donald Trump and John Cornyn are in the lead over Democrats Joe Biden and MJ Hegar, both Biden and Hegar remain within striking distance of victory.”

In the presidential race, the poll found a much wider lead for Biden among Hispanic women than Hispanic men, similar to the Democrat’s stronger performance among all women in Texas and nationally.

Specifically, the poll found that:

  • Hispanics with four Hispanic grandparents prefer Biden over Trump by a large margin, while those with one to three Hispanic grandparents only narrowly prefer Biden over Trump.
  • Hispanics who speak Spanish or equal amounts of Spanish and English at home prefer Biden, while Hispanics who speak English at home narrowly prefer Trump.
  • Hispanics who describe themselves as Catholic or lacking a religious identification prefer Biden by a wide margin, while Protestant Hispanics heavily favor Trump.
  • Hispanic Texans with at least a bachelor’s degree prefer Trump, while those who have not completed a four-year degree choose Biden.
  • Hispanics approve of the term Hispanic to refer to their community to a greater degree than Latino and to a dramatically greater degree than Latinx.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. In collaboration with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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