Research

Biden’s favorability rating lags among Texas voters

April 13, 2022

Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation Poll shows voters have slightly favorable view of Abbott.

(DALLAS, Texas, April 13, 2022) — Texans have an unfavorable view of President Joe Biden and a slightly favorable view of Gov. Greg Abbott, according to newly released polling from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation.

Abbott is viewed more favorably than his Democratic challenger, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke. The lagging approval numbers for Biden and O’Rourke point to the difficult political landscape facing Texas Democrats approaching the fall elections. Among registered voters:

  • Biden is viewed favorably by 40% of Texans and unfavorably by 57%.
  • Former President Donald Trump is viewed favorably by 48% of Texans and unfavorably by 51%.
  • Abbott is viewed favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 45%.
  • O’Rourke is viewed favorably by 42% and unfavorably by 49%.

“The political landscape is challenging for Democrats in Texas,” said Dr. Mark Jones, Director of Research and Analytics for the TxHPF. “Both Biden and Beto currently find themselves underwater with Texas voters.”

Of 22 state and national political figures whose favorability was measured in the poll, former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, scored the highest favorable rating — 52% — while 46% of Texans view him unfavorably. Former President George W. Bush has a favorable rating of 47% and an unfavorable rating of 45%.

The TxHPF representative survey of 1,435 Texas registered voters took place between March 18 and March 28 (confidence interval of +/- 2.6%). The survey included an oversample of 435 Hispanic registered voters to allow for a more fine-grained analysis of this important demographic.

Among Hispanic registered voters in the poll:

  • Biden is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 44%.
  • Trump is viewed favorably by 38% and unfavorably by 59%.
  • Abbott is viewed favorably by 37% and unfavorably by 54%.
  • O’Rourke is viewed favorably by 53% and unfavorably by 34%.
  • Obama is viewed favorably by 66% and unfavorably by 29%.
  • Bush is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 40%.

“Texas Hispanics view Democrats more favorably than Republicans at this moment in time,” said TxHPF CEO and President Jason Villalba. “However, it is notably that Hispanics have a favorable view of former President Bush — a Texas Republican. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change during the 2022 campaign. Both parties would be wise to aggressively seek Hispanic support in this election and in future elections.”

The polling highlights the pivotal role played by Hispanics in the Democratic Party runoffs for comptroller and land commissioner.

In the land commissioner runoff, Sandragrace Martinez holds a 41% to 25% lead over Jay Kleberg in vote intention, due in large part to her four-to-one (56% to 14%) advantage among Hispanic likely voters.

In the comptroller runoff, Ángel Luis Vega is effectively tied with Janet T. Dudding (29% to 32%), due in large part to his 50% to 18% advantage among Hispanic likely voters.

In the Republican Party railroad commissioner runoff, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian enjoys a substantial lead over Sarah Stogner among likely GOP primary voters, 44% to 18%, with 38% undecided.

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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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Hispanic Texans prefer O’Rourke over Abbott, have slightly favorable view of Biden

April 12, 2022

Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation report suggests Abbott unlikely to win statewide Hispanic vote.

(DALLAS, Texas, April 12, 2022) — Despite recent signs that Republicans are gaining ground among Hispanic Texas voters, a new polling report from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation shows overall support among Hispanic Texans for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke and Democratic President Joe Biden.

The report utilizes a large sub-sample (615 cases) of Texas Hispanics within a statewide survey of Texas registered voters (1,435 cases) to better understand intragroup differences within the Texas Hispanic community regarding vote intention in the November 2022 elections, as well as opinions regarding Biden and former President Donald Trump. The TxHPF survey was conducted between March 18 and March 28.

The poll found that:

  • O’Rourke leads Republican Gov. Greg Abbott by an 18% margin (54% to 36%) among Hispanic likely voters and by a 14% margin (53% to 39%) among the Hispanics who are most likely to vote (almost certain voters).
  • In a hypothetical matchup for attorney general, Democrat Rochelle Garza leads Republican incumbent Ken Paxton by a 25% margin (57% to 32%) among Hispanic likely voters and by a 22% margin (57% to 35%) among the Hispanics who are most likely to vote (almost certain votes). However, neither candidate has yet secured a spot in the November election; both Paxton and Garza will face runoff elections for their party nominations in May, runoffs in which both are presently favored.
  • In a hypothetical matchup for lieutenant governor (included in TxHPF’s first report from the March poll), Democratic challenger Mike Collier leads Republican incumbent Dan Patrick 56% to 33% among Hispanic likely voters. Patrick has secured the GOP runoff, but Collier faces State Rep. Michelle Beckley in a May runoff for the Democratic nomination.
  • Among Hispanic registered voters, 50% view Biden favorably and 44% view him unfavorably.
  • Also among Hispanic registered voters, 38% view Trump favorably and 59% view him unfavorably.

“The survey results suggest the likelihood of Abbott winning a majority of the Hispanic vote in the fall is extremely low, but it’s possible that Abbott could win a majority of the Hispanic male vote in November,” said Dr. Mark Jones, the TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics. “Hispanic Texans view President Biden favorably, but only by a small margin.”

The poll also found that among likely voters:

  • While O’Rourke enjoys an 28% advantage over Abbott (59% to 31%) among Hispanic women, his 7% advantage among Hispanic men (49% to 42%) is one quarter that size.
  • Hispanics who live in households where Spanish is used more than English are significantly less likely to intend to vote for Abbott (17%) than are Hispanics who live in households where English is the dominant language (39%). 
  • Hispanic Evangelical Protestants are significantly more likely to intend to vote for Abbott (65%) and significantly less likely to intend to vote for O’Rourke (27%) than both Catholic (31% and 62%) and non-religious (25% and 58%) Hispanics.

“The Hispanic vote in many ways mirror the country as a whole, with Democrats doing better among women than men and Republicans doing better among evangelicals than non-evangelicals,” said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TxHPF. “Democratic candidates are polling better than Republicans among Hispanic likely voters right now, but their lead among Hispanics is likely not large enough to overcome their struggles to attract white voters across the state.”

The TxHPF released the first report from its March polling last week. That report showed Abbott leading O’Rourke by an 8% margin (50% to 42%) among all likely voters in the state and by a 12% margin (53% to 41%) among all of the most likely (almost certain) voters.

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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, Other Republicans Lead in New Post-Primary Poll from Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation

April 5, 2022

Paxton, Collier, Garza hold leads in runoff matchups.

(DALLAS, Texas, April 5, 2022) — Republican statewide incumbents hold an advantage in the early stages of the 2022 elections in Texas, but the Democrats lining up to challenge them are within striking distance, according to new polling from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF).

The TxHPF representative survey of 1,435 Texas registered voters took place between March 18 and March 28 (confidence interval of +/- 2.6%). The survey included an oversample of 435 Hispanic registered voters to allow for a more fine-grained analysis of this important demographic.

Among voters who say they are likely to vote in November:

  • Gov. Greg Abbott leads Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke by an 8% margin (50% to 42%) among likely voters and by a 12% margin (53% to 41%) among the most likely (almost certain) voters.
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick leads both of his potential Democratic challengers. Among likely voters, Patrick leads Mike Collier by a 6% margin (49% to 43%) and Michelle Beckley by an 8% margin (50% to 42%). Like Abbott, Patrick holds larger leads over his Democratic challengers (10% over Collier and 13% over Beckley) among the most likely voters. If current numbers hold, his Democratic challenger in November will be Collier; Collier leads Beckley in the May Democratic runoff by a 12% margin (43% to 31%) among likely voters and by a 16% margin (47% to 31%) among the most likely voters.
  • In the Republican runoff for attorney general, incumbent Ken Paxton has a commanding lead over Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Paxton is ahead by a 42% margin (65% to 23%) among likely voters and by a 51% margin (71% to 20%) among the most likely voters. In the Democratic runoff contest for attorney general, Rochelle Mercedes Garza leads Joe Jaworski by a 15% margin (46% to 31%) among likely voters and by a 21% margin (51% to 30%) among the most likely voters. 
  • In hypothetical November matchups, Paxton leads Garza and Jaworski by 6% and 7% respectively among likely voters and by 10% and 12% among almost certain voters, while Bush is in a statistical dead heat with both Democrats, tied with Garza among likely voters and ahead of her by 1% among almost certain voters and trailing Jaworski by 1% among likely voters and tied with him among almost certain voters.

“Republicans are certainly the favorites to win in November, but they have not yet put these contests away,” said Dr. Mark Jones, the TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics. “Texans continue to lean toward Republican candidates, as they have for many years, but Democrats still have time to make these elections competitive.”

The poll also found that:

  • Two-fifths (40%) of Republican primary voters say that they would never vote for George P. Bush.  Two-thirds (66%) of these Republicans say a reason they would never vote for him is that he is a member of the Bush family.  The next most common reasons are his oversight of the Alamo (42%) and that he is not conservative enough (41%).
  • Nine out of 10 (88%) March GOP attorney general primary voters who cast a ballot for fourth-place finisher Louie Gohmert intend to vote for Paxton in the May runoff and 9% for Bush. Supporters of third-place finisher Eva Guzman are more divided, 35% intending to vote for Bush, 28% for Paxton and 37% still undecided.
  • In a November generic U.S. House ballot, the Republican candidate leads the Democratic candidate by a 7% margin (49% to 42%) among likely voters and by a 12% margin (52% to 40%) among the almost certain voters.
  • Hispanic likely voters prefer O’Rourke over Abbott by a 14% margin (53% to 39%). Abbott leads among White likely voters and O’Rourke leads among Black likely voters.

“Hispanics continue to be a vital component of the Texas electorate.  Based on these early numbers, it is clear that the Latino vote in Texas will be determinative this November,” said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TxHPF. “If Democrats intend to win the Governor’s race or other statewide elections this November, they are going to have to significantly increase their advantage among Hispanic voters. If Republicans are successful in continuing to narrow the gap among Hispanic voters, they will be nearly impossible to beat in November.”

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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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Hispanic families in Dallas ISD are less likely than White and Black families to have high-speed internet at home, survey finds

January 13, 2022

DISD parents trust the private sector over the government to provide a high-speed internet network and they overwhelmingly believe that a government-built network would result in higher property taxes.

(DALLAS, Texas, Jan. 13, 2022) — Hispanic families in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) have nearly universal access to high-speed internet service, but have not adopted such service in the same percentages as non-Hispanic families have due to language barriers and a lack of awareness of programs offering the service at little or no cost, according to a new Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF) survey of parents with school-age children who live within the boundaries of DISD.

Nine out of ten parents responding to the survey (87%) have high-speed internet in their home, but white parents (96%) are more likely to have high-speed internet than black (87%) and Hispanic (81%) parents. Among parents with a child participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), 83% have high-speed internet at home, compared to 93% of those who do not participate in the NSLP.

Families who do not have high-speed internet service at home were most likely to cite the monthly cost as the primary reason why.

“High-speed internet is widely and readily available to Dallas ISD families, but there continues to be gaps in adoption of high-speed internet that have materialized along racial and economic lines,” said TxHPF CEO Jason Villalba. “In a post-pandemic economy, we know that virtual learning modules are absolutely indispensable to educating our children. Connectivity, via high-speed internet, is an essential utility and unquestionably necessary to achieving this goal. If Hispanic families remain technologically disadvantaged, Hispanic children, who represent over 50% of the future workforce, will be left behind. This is simply unacceptable.”

The survey found that most parents who live within DISD boundaries do not know about low-cost high-speed internet plans provided by AT&T and Spectrum, or about the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Hispanics who prefer to interact in English are much more likely to know about those programs than those who prefer to interact in Spanish, who comprise a majority of the Hispanic families attending DISD. The findings underscore the need for more robust outreach campaigns — especially in Spanish — to make parents more aware of these benefits.

It also found that parents living in DISD are more likely to trust a private company (36%) to provide them with reliable high-speed internet than a local government entity, including the DISD (11%), with 36% trusting both equally and 17% trusting neither.

More than three-quarters of parents with children in DISD (78%) believe that a high-speed internet network built and maintained by Dallas County or the Dallas ISD would cause property taxes to go up, compared to only 6% who believe it would cause property taxes to go down and 16% who believe taxes would remain unchanged.

“DISD parents do not want the school district or the county to build, implement or maintain its own high-speed internet system,” Villalba said. “Our parent-centered research shows that most parents believe that if the government does attempt to build its own system, the result will be higher property taxes.”

The fielding period of this study was from October 20, 2021 through November 30. A total of 460 surveys were administered by ReconMR of San Marcos, Texas, of which sixty-six surveys were conducted over the telephone using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) software, while 394 surveys were conducted online via utilizing Computer Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI). The CAWI respondents were either sent a text message invitation that included a unique link to the online survey for that individual, or upon being reached by telephone, requested a link be emailed or texted to them.

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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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GOP primary voters far more opposed to vaccine mandates than other Texans, poll finds

December 7, 2021

(DALLAS, Texas, Dec. 7, 2021) — As Republican activists and elected officials increasingly call for a special legislative session to prohibit vaccine mandates, recent polling shows that Republicans who vote in primaries are far more skeptical of such mandates and other measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 than Texas voters as a whole are.

Overall, Texas registered voters are split relatively evenly over the questions of whether vaccine mandates, mask mandates or vaccine passports would help society get back to normal, according to October polling conducted by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF). However, Republicans who are almost certain to vote in their party’s primaries voiced strong disagreement with the idea that these measures would help society get back to normal sooner. Specifically:

  • A plurality of Texans (49%) agree that vaccine mandates will help society get back to normal sooner, while 42% disagree and 9% neither agree nor disagree. However, 75% of voters who are almost certain to vote in Republican primaries disagree that vaccine mandates will help society get back to normal sooner.
  • A narrow absolute majority of Texans (51%) agree that mask mandates will help society get back to normal sooner, while 38% disagree and the remaining 11% neither agree nor disagree. Among voters who are almost certain to vote in Republican primaries, 75% disagree that mask mandates will help society get back to normal sooner.
  • A plurality of Texans (45%) disagree that vaccine passports will help society get back to normal sooner. Just over two-fifths (42%) agree and 13% neither agree nor disagree. However, 81% of almost-certain Republican primary voters disagree.

Voters who are inclined to support Republicans in November general elections but less likely to vote in primaries are less opposed to vaccine mandates, vaccine passports and mask mandates than those who are more likely to vote in primaries.

“There is a clear divide between Republican primary voters and the rest of the state, but Republican primary voters are the most influential group in Texas politics by far,” said Jason Villalba, Chairman and CEO of the TxHPF. “If Governor Abbott calls a special session on vaccine mandates and some of these other issues, it will show the overwhelming influence of the relatively few Texans who vote in Republican primaries.

Many elected Republicans are calling for a special session because they know how strongly their primary voters feel about these issues.”

Voters who indicate they are almost certain to vote in Democratic primaries are highly likely to believe that vaccine mandates, vaccine passports and mask mandates will help society get back to normal.

“Sharp partisan differences exist in regard to agreement and disagreement with these policies meant to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics Mark P. Jones of Rice University. “There is even disagreement within parties. Voters who are most active in their party primaries show the strongest feelings about whether certain COVID policies will work.”

The October polling from the TxHPF also found that 25% of registered voters identifying as Republicans and 24% identifying as independents said they did not plan to get vaccinated, compared to just 6% of Democrats. Overall, 18% of respondents said they do not plan to get vaccinated.

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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Texans’ views of vaccine differ significantly by party, survey finds

December 1, 2021

(DALLAS, Texas, Dec. 1, 2021) — One out of every four registered voters identifying as either Republicans or independents in Texas say they do not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to polling conducted this fall by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF).

The poll found that 25% of registered voters identifying as Republicans and 24% identifying as independents said they did not plan to get vaccinated, compared to just 6% of Democrats. Overall, 18% of respondents said they do not plan to get vaccinated.

Significantly more Democrats (81%) are fully vaccinated than Independents (62%) or Republicans (60%).

The question of personal vaccination status was one of several related to COVID-19 to cut along partisan lines. The survey also found that Texans are highly polarized over the adoption of mask mandates, vaccine mandates and vaccine passports.

“Partisan alignment is affecting Texans’ response to this pandemic,” said Jason Villalba, Chairman and CEO of the TxHPF. “The correlation of party identification and COVID-19 response could have significant public health implications, as well as political implications. As we head into an election year, we can expect candidates to lean into their parties’ beliefs about vaccines, masks and mandates. These could be some of the most hotly debated issues of the election, in Texas and nationally.”

The survey also found differences in how racial groups are responding to the pandemic. For example, Hispanic Texans are less likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 than other groups.  The survey found that 63% of Hispanic registered voters in Texas said they were vaccinated, compared to 73% of Black registered voters and 70% of white registered voters.

White Texans were more likely than Hispanic and Black Texans to say they will not be getting vaccinated, while Hispanics were more likely to say they are not sure about getting vaccinated.

“It’s encouraging that most Hispanic respondents in the survey said they are fully vaccinated, but there is still a need for further outreach to the Hispanic community,” Villalba said. “Our success in communicating with Hispanic Texans about the vaccine will have a direct impact on the state’s overall fight against COVID-19.”

The poll also found:

  • The Baby Boomer/Silent Generation (ages 57 to 93 years) has a notably higher proportion (78%) of its members reporting that they are fully vaccinated than Generation X (63%), Millennials (62%) and, especially, Generation Z (56%).
  • There is a strong relationship between a person’s educational attainment and the probability that they are fully vaccinated.  While 79% of Texans with a four-year college degree or postgraduate degree are fully vaccinated, only 56% of those whose highest level of educational attainment is a high school degree or less are fully vaccinated.

“Some of the same predictors of electoral outcomes are also predictors of how Texans feel about COVID,” said TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics Mark P. Jones of Rice University. “Politics is clearly influencing the decisions Texans make about COVID.”

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 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.

Download the Report

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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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.