According to a recent poll conducted by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are more favorable in Texas than former President Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the state’s junior U.S. senator.
Biden, who boasts a 57 percent approval rating nationwide via Gallup, notched approval/disapproval percentage scores of 41/42 in the aforementioned poll released Friday while Harris sat at 39/43.
Those numbers aren’t overly impressive but much better than scores posted by Donald Trump, 39/51, and Ted Cruz, 38/47.
Obviously, it’s just one poll and there’s still quite some time between now and the 2022 Texas Gubernatorial Race and even more time until the 2024 Presidential Election.
However, Texas is a state that should be watched very closely because a demographic and ideological shift appears to be well underway.
Texas is turning blue. And should that happen by 2028, we’ll likely see a shift in the balance of power that strongly favors Democrats, especially as it relates to presidential elections and quite possibly in the U.S. Senate.
The crown jewel of the GOP in presidential races, Texas is not nearly as Republican as it used to be. In the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Presidential Elections, Republican George W. Bush carried the state by over 20 percentage points. And in 2008 and 2012, Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney earned Lonestar wins over Barack Obama well into double digits.
However, after Donald Trump defeated rival Hillary Clinton there by only 9 percentage points in 2016, many started to wonder if the state’s days as a GOP stronghold were numbered.
Cruz, in a U.S. Senate race that garnered mainstream national interest, was re-elected there a little over 2 years ago but defeated popular opponent and House Representative Beto O’Rourke by just 2.6 percentage points. And Trump, of course, carried the state in November, defeating Biden by 5.6 percentage points – a margin of 3.6 percentage points less than the former carried Texas in 2016.
O’Rourke will likely challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in the 2022 Texas Gubernatorial Race. Should that match-up come to fruition, it’ll likely be hard fought and close, and will tell us a little more about how fast the state’s ideology is shifting.
Incidentally, Gov. Abbott’s approval/disapproval rating percentage scores, via the same study above, were 39/40.