Trump Only Leading By Three Points In Texas

As if the news out of Arizona weren’t bad enough, new polling out of Texas gives Donald Trump only a slim lead in Texas, which hasn’t gone for a Democrat in a Presidential election since 1976:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has one of his slimmest leads yet over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in Texas, 41 percent to 38 percent, according to a new poll among registered voters. Trump’s support falls within the survey’s margin of error, which is plus- or minus 3 percent, meaning the race is a statistical dead heat.

Released Tuesday by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, the poll also found that 16 percent of respondents were undecided or refused to answer. Four percent chose Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and 1 percent selected Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

“The national gains Hillary Clinton has made in the last two weeks are evident in Texas, where she has closed within three points of Donald Trump,” said Richard Murray, political science professor and director of the Hobby School’s Survey Research Institute. “With such a close margin, the key question will be which candidate can actually get their supporters to the polls over the next three weeks.”

Trump’s lead jumps one point – to 4 percent – when the poll considered voters who said they were certain to vote on or before Election Day. Among independent voters in Texas, Clinton dominates Trump, 30 percent to 14 percent. The GOP candidate, however, won the support of a plurality of male respondents, 44 percent to Clinton’s 35 percent, while women support Clinton by a four-point margin, 42 percent to 38 percent.

Another key finding: Both White House hopefuls have high unfavorable ratings in Texas. Trump’s number was 48 percent, while 19 percent viewed him very favorably. Clinton was viewed highly unfavorably by 47 percent and very favorably by 23 percent.

As a frame of reference, it should be noted that John McCain won the Lone Star State by more than eleven percentage points, while Mitt Romney won by more than fifteen points. Trump still has a respectable 5 .7 point lead in the RealClearPolitics average, but that’s largely due to polls that came out before Clinton’s latest surge on the national level. Additionally, presumably because the outcome there has long been presumed, there’s been very little polling in the state to give us an indication of whether or not Republicans have something to worry about here. At the very least, though, numbers like this indicate that just how weak a candidate he actually is. A Republican who has less than a double digit lead in Texas with less than three weeks to go in the campaign is, to say, the very least a Republican candidate in very serious trouble.


FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Mu says:

    Wait until he announces today that he’ll trade all of Texas south of I-10 to Mexico in exchange for getting his wall built.

  2. Hal_10000 says:

    I also saw in recent polling that men are slightly favoring Clinton. It’s always possible the polling is way off. Nate Silver likes to remind people that if a 10% chance thing doesn’t happen 10% of the time, you’re doing your stats wrong. And there a lot of undecideds/3rd partiers in the polls right now that could break. But … IF the polling is accurate …. wow.

  3. Kylopod says:

    the poll also found that 16 percent of respondents were undecided or refused to answer.

    I hate to throw cold water on this poll, but I suspect the undecided group is comprised primarily of Republicans who are unhappy with their party’s nominee, and if so, then it’s probable (though far from certain) that they’ll break for Trump in the end.

    Actually, it’s this factor that has worried me the most for several months–that a lot of the undecideds in the polls consist of Republican-leaning voters who are reluctant to support Trump but who probably will in the end.

  4. Scott says:

    Here in San Antonio, it is a very strange election. There are almost no yard signs (actually none in my very red neighborhood) and very few bumper stickers. Not sure what that means. I think everybody just wants the election to be over.

  5. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Scott: Same here in Aggieland. I’ve seen a couple of Trump signs and no Clinton signs. No signs for any statewide races since (in my area) they are all decided in the GOP primaries.

    The only signs I am seeing (and there are quite a few) are for City of Bryan and City of College Station races.

  6. CSK says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I live in a very blue state, so the lack of Trump yard signs is not surprising. But a Clinton sign is a very rare sight as well.

  7. Matt says:

    @Scott: Pretty same here in Corpus. I’ve seen a couple Hillary signs and a few more Trump signs but far fewer than I saw for Romney.