Texas Hispanics show diverse views of political figures in new survey

November 8, 2021

(DALLAS, Texas, Nov. 8, 2021) — Hispanic Texans view well-known Democratic figures more favorably than they view Republicans, but by relatively narrow margins, according to the results of polling by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF).

The organization found in October polling that 52% of Hispanic Texans view President Joe Biden very or somewhat favorably, while 44% have a somewhat or very unfavorably view of Biden. Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is eyeing a Democratic run for governor in 2022, is viewed very or somewhat favorably by 53% of Hispanic Texans and very or somewhat unfavorably by 35%.

Hispanics in Texas give Gov. Greg Abbott a 43% favorable (very or somewhat) rating, while 50% say their view of him is somewhat or very unfavorable. Former President Donald Trump is viewed very or somewhat favorably by 38% of Hispanic Texans, while 57% view him somewhat or very unfavorably.

In the 2020 election, exit polls showed Trump performed relatively well among Hispanics, which was predicted in the months leading up to the race by TxHPF polling.

In the 2022 gubernatorial election, almost twice as many white Texans intend to vote for Abbott (58%) than O’Rourke (30%) and more than seven times as many Black Texans intend to vote for O’Rourke (76%) than Abbott (10%). Hispanic support is more evenly divided, with 49% of Hispanics favoring O’Rourke and 31% favoring Abbott.

Hispanics who are evangelical Protestants are more likely to intend to vote for Abbott (42%) than O’Rourke (37%) while Catholic Hispanics and non-religious Hispanics overwhelmingly favor O’Rourke (56% and 46%) over Abbott (29% and 28%).

Hispanics who live in households where Spanish is regularly spoken are notably more likely to vote for O’Rourke than Hispanics who live in English dominant households.

O’Rourke enjoys a substantially higher vote intention than Abbott among Hispanics with four or three Hispanic grandparents (52% vs. 29%), but his advantage over Abbott is only 2% (38% vs. 36%) among those Hispanics with fewer than three Hispanic grandparents.

“Hispanic Texans remain a pivotal voting group heading into the 2022 race for governor and other statewide offices,” said Jason Villalba, Chairman and CEO of the TxHPF. “The Hispanic population in Texas may continue to lean Democratic, but no party should take this diverse group for granted. Hispanic Texans will need to be part of any winning coalition in Texas next year and beyond.”

The report released today by the TxHPF analyzes favorability ratings of 20 Texas and national political figures. The figures draw on an October survey that showed Abbott and O’Rourke in a virtual dead heat in a hypothetical matchup for governor next year. 

Among all Texans, the analysis showed the following views of key political figures:

  • Biden: 25% very favorable, 18% somewhat favorable, 10% somewhat unfavorable, 45% very unfavorable
  • Trump: 33% very favorable, 14% somewhat favorable, 8% somewhat unfavorable, 43% very unfavorable
  • Abbott: 30% very favorable, 19% somewhat favorable, 9% somewhat unfavorable, 38% very unfavorable
  • O’Rourke: 28% very favorable, 16% somewhat favorable, 6% somewhat unfavorable, 39% very unfavorable
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: 17% very favorable, 17% somewhat favorable, 8% somewhat unfavorable, 29% very unfavorable
  • U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz: 32% very favorable, 16% somewhat favorable, 6% somewhat unfavorable, 39% very unfavorable
  • U.S. Sen. John Cornyn: 13% very favorable, 21% somewhat favorable, 16% somewhat unfavorable, 27% very unfavorable

“Looking at all Texans, President Biden is not popular in the state, but former President Trump does not fare much better,” said TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics Mark P. Jones of Rice University. “Texans do not have overwhelmingly positive views of any current political figure. The president’s number will likely be a drag on Texas Democrats in 2022.”

For the survey 1,402 respondents were interviewed online between October 14 and 27, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6%. (The survey contained an oversample of Hispanic registered voters, with a total of 616 Texas Hispanics surveyed).


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. 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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