News

Texas Hispanics voice support for GOP-led border policies

November 17, 2021

(DALLAS, Texas, Nov. 17, 2021) — Hispanic Texans — especially in South Texas — are more likely to support than oppose several border policies pushed by Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas Republicans, according to recent polling by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF).

The organization found in October polling that Abbott’s border policies are more popular among all Texans than they among Hispanic Texans, but by relatively small margins. In fact, on four out of five of Abbott’s signature border policies, Texas Hispanics voiced more support than opposition.

“Nobody should continue to assume that Hispanic Texans will automatically align with one party or another,” said Jason Villalba, Chairman and CEO of the TxHPF. “These poll numbers show that Texas Hispanics hold a diversity of viewpoints on border-related issues and help explain why Republicans did relatively well with key Hispanic groups in the 2020 election. Once again, the lesson here is that Hispanic Texans cannot and will not be taken for granted by any political party.”

Specifically, the TxHPF polling found that:

  • 51% of Texas Hispanics support and 25% oppose the Texas policy of having Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and local law enforcement arrest immigrants who cross the border illegally.
  • 46% of Texas Hispanics support and 32% oppose the Texas policy of sending Texas National Guard soldiers to patrol along the border.
  • 48% of Texas Hispanics support and 30% oppose the Texas policy of sending DPS officers to patrol along the border.
  • 41% of Texas Hispanics support and 35% oppose the Texas policy of spend $1.5 billion annually in state funds on border security.
  • 38% of Texas Hispanics support and 45% oppose the Texas policy of building a wall along the border.

Support for all five of those policies was stronger among all Texans than Hispanic Texans, the polling found. Also, importantly, Hispanics in South Texas are significantly more likely to support the five Abbott border security policies than are Hispanics elsewhere in the state.

“There is greater support for Republican-led border policies among Texas Hispanics in South Texas and rural areas than around the largest cities, which mirrors what polling and election results show among all Texans,” said TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics Mark P. Jones of Rice University. “The fact that there is considerable support among Texas Hispanics for Abbott’s policies certainly complicates the task facing any Democrat trying to win statewide. This polling highlights many of the issues where Republicans can have success with Hispanic Texans, especially in certain regions.”

The polling also found that more Texas Hispanics oppose than support increasing the number of refugees and asylum seekers allowed into the United States. By a narrow margin, Hispanic Texans are also more likely to oppose than support increasing the number of immigrants from Mexico and Central America allowed into the United States.

The numbers of part of the third installment of polling data conducted by the TxHPF in October. Previous installments showed that Texas Hispanics prefer Democrat Beto O’Rourke over Abbott in a hypothetical 2022 race for governor and that 52% of Hispanic Texans view President Joe Biden very or somewhat favorably.

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).

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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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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).

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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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Abbott and O’Rourke in Dead Heat, New Poll From Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation Shows

November 1, 2021

(Dallas, Texas, November 1) – A year before they could meet in a showdown for the state’s top office, Gov. Greg Abbott and expected Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke are virtually tied, according to new polling from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF).

The poll shows Republican Abbott leading O’Rourke, 44% to 43% among voters who went to the polls in 2020, with the rest of respondents unsure or supporting minor-party candidates. The race is virtually unchanged if actor Matthew McConaughey, whose name has come up in gubernatorial-race speculation, appears on the ballot as an Independent candidate.

Among all registered voters, Abbott is the choice of 43% and O’Rourke of 42%, with 12% unsure of whom they would vote for and 3% choosing minor party candidates. The results remain nearly identical if the population is restricted to 2020 presidential election voters, with Abbott preferred by 44% and O’Rourke by 43%, with 10% unsure and 3% supporting minor party candidates.

O’Rourke, a former Congressman from El Paso who previously ran for president and for a seat in the U.S. Senate, has not formally announced his candidacy for governor but is widely expected to run.

The poll found that 49% of Hispanic respondents favor O’Rourke and 31% favor Abbott. Hispanics who are evangelical Protestants are more likely 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%).

Before taking on the Democratic nominee, Abbott must make it through a competitive Republican primary. The new polling shows the two-term governor with an overwhelming lead in the GOP race: Abbott is ahead of his next-closest rival, former state Republican Party Chairman Allen West, by 51 percentage points, with 64% of the most likely GOP primary voters intending to vote for Abbott compared to 13% for West.

“Governor Abbott has shored up his right flank and stands firmly on solid ground with Republican primary voters,” said Jason Villalba, Chairman and CEO of the TxHPF. “But based on our data, it appears that he has achieved this objective by cutting deeply into his support with Texans who vote in the general election. Much can happen over the course of the year, but these numbers show that not only can we expect a competitive general election, but that Abbott’s shift to the hard right may have imperiled his governorship.”

The survey also found:

  • Attorney General Ken Paxton has an overwhelming lead in his race for re-election, garnering support from 54% of likely Republican primary voters. The closest candidate to Paxton, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, has support from 18%, with other candidates in single digits.
  • Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has a strong lead in the Republican primary over State Rep. James White.
  • No candidate commands a strong lead in the Democratic primary races for lieutenant governor and attorney general, with more than half of likely primary voters saying they don’t know whom they support.

“Abbott and Paxton are showing a great deal of strength heading into the Republican primary,” said TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics Mark P. Jones of Rice University. “So far, no Republican challenger to an incumbent statewide official appears to be gaining any traction.”

Jones added, “Matthew McConaughey is a very popular actor, but his popularity is not turning into support at the ballot box in this survey.”

The TxHPF has previously established its credibility in measuring public opinion in Texas. In August 2020, the TxHPF was the first major research organization to forecast that then-President Donald Trump was running relatively well among Texas Hispanics. Those survey results proved to be strikingly accurate on Election Night 2020, when Trump performed stronger than previous Republican candidates in heavily Hispanic regions of the state.

For the survey 1,402 respondents were interviewed online between October 14 and 27, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6%.

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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Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation Secures Another Major Grant for Groundbreaking Work

October 14, 2021

Meadows Foundation invests in the TxHPF’s work at critical moment.

(DALLAS, Texas, Oct. 14, 2021) — The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation has secured a $75,000 matching grant from the Meadows Foundation in another sign of the nonprofit organization’s growing acclaim as a leading voice on issues affecting Hispanic Texans.

The grant is the second major investment that TxHPF has announced in the past month. The TxHPF announced in late September that it had secured a nearly $400,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational development of Hispanic public school students in Texas.

The two grants are the largest investment in the TxHPF since the organization was founded in 2019.

“We could not be more grateful that the highly respected Meadows Foundation is making a substantial investment in our work,” said TxHPF Chairman and CEO Jason Villalba. “This support provides our organization with even more momentum as we continue our research, which is aimed at increasing understanding of the diverse beliefs and attitudes of Hispanic Texans.”

The TxHPF collaborates with the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University to conduct research and collect data. The organization is using its research to build a “Rosetta Stone” for understanding the Texas Hispanic population.

“Some of the most recognized and respected foundations in this country are investing in our work, which speaks to its importance and relevance,” Villalba said. “We are grateful for their confidence and for the opportunity to research this growing, critical population of Texans.”

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.

Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation to Study COVID’s Impact on Texas Hispanic Public School Students

September 28, 2021

Major grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will allow groundbreaking research.

(DALLAS, Texas, Sept. 28, 2021) — The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation is preparing to conduct some of the organization’s most ambitious and groundbreaking research after securing a significant investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The nearly $400,000 grant is intended to study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational development of Hispanic public school students in Texas. The grant is the largest investment in TxHPF since the organization was founded in 2019.

“The success of Texas’ future depends on the success of Texas Hispanic students today,” said TxHPF Chairman and CEO Jason Villalba. “This important research will allow us to see how young Hispanic Texans have fared in their academic development over the last year and a half. We know that the pandemic has interrupted learning in ways that have impacted all students. This research will help educators and policymakers gain a better understanding of the challenge Hispanic students are facing.”

Regina Montoya, the President of the TxHPF, echoed Villalba’s remarks, “With this vital research, policy makers from the local, state and federal levels will better understand not only the magnitude of the learning loss that Texas students face, but the impact that the pandemic has on Texas’ future workforce.  Unless we find actionable and viable solutions to this problem, in a few short years, Texas can expect a workforce shortage of historic proportions.”

About 53% of students enrolled in Texas public schools are Hispanic, according to Texas Education Agency data from the 2019-20 school year.

The TxHPF will examine existing data, including state assessments, to contextualize the impact of pandemic learning interruptions; conduct surveys to analyze the factors, drivers and primary sources of learning interruptions on Hispanic students; and conduct public-opinion research of Texas families, and Hispanic families in particular, to determine sentiment on certain education-related topics. Each of these components of the project will inform at least 10 discreet policy recommendations that TxHPF will make to state and local officials.

“The goal of this project is to look closely not only at test scores, but also at the attitudes of Texas Hispanic students and their families,” Villalba said. “It would be naïve to assume that all students, or all demographic groups, have felt the impact of learning loss in the same way. We want to give policymakers solutions that are tailored to helping Hispanic students overcome the pandemic-related learning disruptions.”

The TxHPF collaborates with the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University to conduct research and collect data. In August 2020, the TxHPF was the first major research organization to forecast that then-President Donald Trump was running relatively well among Texas Hispanics. Those survey results proved to be strikingly accurate on Election Night 2020, when Trump performed stronger than previous Republican candidates in heavily Hispanic regions of the state.

The TxHPF is planning to conduct other election-related polling later this year, as Texas heads into several competitive primary elections in races for statewide office.

“Our Foundation is taking a major step forward and will continue to demonstrate our unique value in helping explain the attitudes and preferences of Texas Hispanics,” Villalba said. “Our upcoming look at the impact of the pandemic on learning will demonstrate our versatility and credibility as an organization. We are extremely grateful to the Gates Foundation for its investment in our work and, more importantly, for its commitment to the success of Hispanic students in Texas.”

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.

Texas must wake up to the fact that Hispanics will soon become the majority

August 17, 2021

The Dallas Morning News

By Jason Villalba

U.S. Census figures show the Hispanic and white populations are about the same size.

Growing up in the suburbs of Dallas in the 1980s, I had so many places to explore with my pals in our provincial, middle-class neighborhood. There was Kirby Creek, where we could fish for crawdads until the sun set over Warrior Trail. There was an old wooded thicket where the remains of “Posey’s” house still stood — many said it was haunted, but upon closer inspection, my sister and I learned it was just a settler’s house from the late 1800s.

And there was a grand and mysterious temple that stood in the fancy part of our neighborhood at the far end. The immaculately landscaped building had a beautiful pool, an elegant vestibule entrance and, most importantly, a PGA-designed golf course that spanned the breadth of our entire neighborhood.

Of course, I never actually got to play golf on that splendidly appointed course, as my family could not afford to be members of the Wood Crest Country Club. But on a full-moon night, when no one else was paying attention, some friends of mine and I not only did a little putting on those manicured greens, but we might have even hopped the big fences and taken a late-evening skinny dip in the pool.

As my friends and I rode our bikes around the neighborhood surrounding the golf course, we couldn’t help but notice the snappily dressed locals playing golf. Always playing in perfect form and almost always white. I never forgot those moments because it was so clear to me how different wewere from the folks on the course.

When I was much older, as one of only four Hispanic Republican members of the Texas Legislature, I thought it might be informative to visit different regions of Texas so that I might better understand the Hispanic experience for Texans around the state.

I will never forget my first foray into the Rio Grande Valley, which has the highest concentration of Hispanics in Texas. I was to give a talk at the local country club that evening, and I was driven to the main dining room in a black SUV. As I approached the clubhouse, I passed the 18th green of the golf course. On that immaculately manicured green was an extremely well-dressed Hispanic family of four enjoying a round of golf.

It was a beautiful sight, and something I had never before witnessed, certainly not at our local country club back in North Texas.

As a boy, I never expected there would come a day when I would I see Hispanics playing golf on a beautiful country club course, and that it would not be all that uncommon. Yet, there I was, witnessing it with my own eyes.

I was reminded of that moment earlier this week when new U.S. Census data were released. What the data revealed was remarkable. Texas is now 39.7% white and 39.3% Hispanic. Had the former president not discouraged counting undocumented residents, Hispanics would have likely registered as the top ethnic group in Texas. Even accepting a possible undercount, Hispanics will comprise over 40% of the population of Texas within the next 36 months and become the majority by the end of the decade.

To be clear, these are not undocumented residents, or “illegals,” as the former president and his supporters often characterize them. These are born-in-the-USA American citizens who are or soon will be eligible to vote.

Based solely on these numbers, in just a few short years, these U.S.-citizen, Hispanic Texans could well determine the outcome of nearly every election in Texas. They will control purchasing power at all levels and drive the Texas economy. Hispanics will sit more regularly on our school boards, county commissions and city councils, and they will more frequently occupy our state and federal elected positions. Texas Hispanics are now in the position to shape every political policy in Texas.

Yet, among our state and local leaders in government, business and the media, few are taking the actions necessary to respond to this consistent and exponential growth of Hispanic influence in our communities.

The population of Dallas County is well over 40% Hispanic, yet only a handful of Hispanics sit on the boards of directors or occupy the C-suites of Dallas’ largest companies. Likewise, with respect to Dallas’ influential Citizens Council and Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic representation on the boards and as officers doesn’t reflect the population of Dallas, and that is both striking and disappointing.

Further, take a few moments this morning to inspect the websites of Dallas’ most prestigious law firms, accounting firms and marketing firms to see how many equity partners or top-level directors are Hispanic. There is much discussion about commitment to D&I (diversity and inclusion) within these organizations, but with respect to Hispanic representation at the top levels, the representation is spotty.

I was born in Dallas, raised a family in Dallas, represented Dallas in the Texas Legislature, and even ran for mayor of this great city. Dallas is a vibrant, sophisticated and growing city. But Dallas is also less than egalitarian when it comes to the engagement and elevation of its Hispanic population.

Now that we are confronted with the official census data for the last decade, I am hopeful that today marks a new beginning for Dallas to cultivate and support its growing Hispanic population.

Jason Villalba is chairman of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

New THPF Podcast to Share Hispanic Texans’ Stories

January 11, 2021

(Dallas, Texas, January 11, 2021) – The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation will launch a new podcast this month to share the voices of the state’s increasingly pivotal Hispanic population.

The “Our Story” podcast, hosted by THPF President Jason Villalba, will debut this week. Available on all major podcast platforms, “Our Story” will provide insight into a community of people who are literally and figuratively changing the complexion of the United States.

“Our mission is to explore the personal and intimate stories of Texas Latinos,” Villaba said. “There are so many misconceptions about Texas Hispanics and the conventional wisdom about who we are as a people is often not an accurate representation. Our Story allows our Featured Storytellers to tell their personal stories in their own voices.”

The first episode will feature Villalba’s conversation with the Hon. Poncho Nevarez, a former State Representative from the Eagle Pass region, one of the fastest-growing regions in Texas.

“From his early days on his family’s ranch, to raising a family, to becoming a lawyer and then ascending to the highest levels of Texas politics, Poncho’s story is filled with triumph and sometimes, devastating tribulation,” Villalba said. “In his own words, Poncho helps us to understand the biggest challenges of his life: substance abuse, stepping away from the Texas Legislature, and finding redemption and renewal in family and the future. In the end, Poncho’s story of resilience and victory in the face of tremendous adversity is a testimony to the spirit of all Texas Hispanics.”

Other guests in the first five episodes of “Our Story” will include: 

  • Chuck Rocha, a Democratic strategist from Texas
  • Naomi Villalba, Mexican immigrant, wife, and mother
  • Hon. Miguel Solis, Dallas ISD Trustee
  • Hon. Leticia Van de Putte, former Texas State Senator

The podcast is the latest platform from which THPF will shape the conversation about Hispanics in Texas. Last August, THPF was among the first organizations to project that President Donald Trump would perform better-than-expected among Hispanic voters in Texas, even as the presidential race became more competitive among all Texas voters than it has recently been.

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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.

Hispanic Texans Prove Decisive in Presidential Race

November 4, 2020

(Dallas, Texas, November 4, 2020) – Hispanic Texans played a pivotal role in helping President Donald Trump carry the state in Tuesday’s election, just as a Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll in August suggested they would.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, significantly underperformed previous Democratic candidates in a number of Texas counties with large Hispanic populations, ultimately dashing Democratic hopes of perhaps carrying Texas in a presidential race for the first time since 1976.

“One of the reasons Trump won Texas is because he cut into traditional Hispanic support for Democrats,” said Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation President Jason Villalba. “If Biden had met or slightly exceeded traditional Democratic performance among Hispanic Texans, he might have carried the state. Hispanic Texans proved their importance as a voting bloc.”

In August, THPF and the Rice University Baker Institute released a poll showing Biden leading Trump among Hispanic Texans by 9.5 percentage points. By comparison, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Hispanic Texans by 27 percentage points against Trump, according to exit polls.

An October 1 projection of the 2020 Texas Hispanic vote by the THPF based on the data from the August survey and aggregate voter data projected that Trump would win Texas 52% to 47% and that Biden would win 58% of the Hispanic vote to 41% for Trump. As of November 4, Trump is ahead in Texas 52% to 46% (with 92% of the vote counted) and the national exit poll data currently indicate that in Texas Biden won 59% of the Hispanic vote and Trump won 40% of the Hispanic vote.

Mark P. Jones, the TXHPF Director of Research and Analytics noted, “Donald Trump’s victory in Texas is due in large part to his substantial support among the state’s diverse Hispanic electorate. In the pivotal Rio Grande Valley counties of Hidalgo and Cameron, where 82% and 79% of registered voters are Hispanic, Trump won 41% and 43% of the vote amidst turnout that was notably higher than four years ago when Trump won only 28% and 32% of the vote in Hidalgo and Cameron respectively.”

“Democrats still have an advantage with Hispanic Texans, but they did not get the support from those voters that Biden needed to carry the state,” Villalba said. “Both parties would be wise to prioritize their outreach to Hispanic voters. Democrats should be asking why their support in heavily Hispanic areas fell so dramatically, and Republicans will need to make further progress with Hispanics if they want to continue their dominance in the state. Hispanic voters are only going to become more influential in Texas. The party that is best at reaching Hispanic voters will have a major advantage in future elections.”

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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.

THPF Analysis: Hispanic Voters Will Decide Texas

October 1, 2020

Biden could win the state with two-thirds of Hispanic vote

(Dallas, Texas, October 1, 2020)– Hispanic voters are poised to determine which presidential candidate carries Texas in the November 3 election, according to a Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation analysis of polling, historical results and turnout projections.

The THPF analysis projects that former Vice President Joe Biden could narrowly win Texas by capturing two-thirds of the Hispanic vote in the state. This would be a slight improvement on the performance of 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who lost the state overall but won 61% of the Hispanic vote, according to exit polls.

But based on polling conducted in August, THPF projects that President Donald Trump will narrow the gap among Hispanic voters enough to win Texas.

“Hispanic voters will decide who wins Texas,” said THPF President Jason Villalba, a former state representative from Dallas. “While we expect the majority of Hispanics will support Biden, the size of that majority will determine who will receive Texas’ 38 electoral votes. A surge in Hispanic support for Biden could turn the state blue. Both campaigns should be taking Hispanic Texans very seriously right now.”

The THPF August poll showed Biden leading Trump by 9.5 percentage points among Hispanic voters. Other polls have also given Biden a similar lead. For example, a Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Biden leading Trump by 8 points among Texas Hispanics.

Based on the August polling, THPF Director of Research and Analytics Mark P. Jones of Rice University projects that Biden will win 58 percent of the Hispanic vote in Texas and that Trump will carry the state with 52 percent of the overall vote.

However, if Biden surpasses Clinton’s 2016 performance and wins two-thirds of the Hispanic vote, he will narrowly carry Texas, Jones projects.

“Biden can win Texas, but only if he is able to boost his support among Hispanics during the homestretch of the campaign,” Jones said. “So far, Biden has not performed as well among Texas Hispanics as Hillary Clinton did in 2016, and that works to Trump’s advantage.”

THPF, using exit polls and voter file reports, projects that Hispanics will make up 27% of the electorate in Texas this year — up from 24% in 2016 and 22% in 2012.

“The Texas electorate is increasingly Hispanic,” Villalba said. “We will continue to see Hispanic voters having more and more influence in the presidential race and in Texas elections up and down the ballot. Given our state’s large number of electoral votes, Hispanic Texans are one of the most important voter blocs in the country right now.”

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy FoundationThe 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.

HISPANIC SHARE OF VOTERS CASTING A BALLOT INTEXAS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS (based on exit poll and voter file reports)

Election YearHispanic Share of Voters
199213%
199617%
200011%
200420%
200819%
201222%
201624%
2020 (Projected)27%

2016 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE FROM EXIT POLL

CandidateTotal Vote (%)Distribution of Hispanic Vote (%)
Donald Trump5234
Hillary Clinton4361
Others55

PROJECTED 2020 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE BASED ON AUGUST THPF SURVEY

CandidateTotal Vote (%)Distribution of Hispanic Vote (%)
Donald Trump5241
Joe Biden4758
Others11

ESTIMATED 2020 PRESIDENTIAL VOTEWITH BIDEN WINNING 2/3 OF HISPANIC VOTE (all else constant)

CandidateTotal Vote (%)Distribution of Hispanic Vote (%)
Donald Trump4932
Joe Biden5067
Others11

Listen: TXHPF President on the Mark Davis Show

August 31, 2020

Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation’s Jason Villalba was a guest on the Mark Davis radio show on Aug. 31. Guest host Scott Braddock asked about the mission of TXHPF and our research on how voters feel about the presidential race and about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives.