Just another poll showing Joe Biden in the lead in Texas, though you have to scroll way down in the Quinnipiac press release to get to that.
With Texas as one of the biggest hot spots in the coronavirus pandemic, voters say 65 – 31 percent that the spread of coronavirus is “out of control,” according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University poll of registered voters in Texas released today.
Nearly three-quarters, 74 – 25 percent, think the spread of the coronavirus in the state is a serious problem.
Two-thirds, 66 percent, say they personally know someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, a 31-point spike since early June when 35 percent said they personally knew someone who had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
“The concern is palpable as the number of virus victims soars and it’s getting more personal every day, as the patient lists increasingly include friends, family and neighbors,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
CONCERNS ABOUT HOSPITALS
Nearly 7 out of 10 voters, 69 percent, say they are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the state’s hospitals running out of space to care for sick patients. Thirty-one percent say they are “not so concerned” or “not concerned at all.”
More than half of voters, 53 – 44 percent, think the governor should not issue a stay-at-home order for the state to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
However, voters say 68 – 29 percent that if local officials want to issue stay-at-home orders for their local areas, the governor should allow them to do so.
Eighty percent of voters approve of Governor Greg Abbott’s order requiring most people in Texas to wear a face mask in public. Nineteen percent disapprove.
More than half of voters, 52 percent, say looking back, Governor Abbott reopened the economy “too quickly.” Thirty-three percent say he reopened the economy “at about the right pace,” and 13 percent say he did it “too slowly.”
More than three-quarters of voters, 76 – 21 percent, say they believe that the closing of bars is effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Voters are split on the way Governor Abbott is handling the response to the coronavirus with 47 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving. It’s a 21-point swing in the net approval from early June when 56 percent of voters approved and 36 percent disapproved.
In contrast, there isn’t much change in the way voters in Texas view President Trump’s handling of the response to the coronavirus. Texas voters approve, a negative 45 – 52 percent, compared to June’s 47 – 51 percent approval.
Governor Abbott: Voters approve with a split 48 – 44 percent of the job Governor Abbott is doing, a 20- point swing in the net approval from June when voters approved 56 – 32 percent.
President Trump: President Trump receives a negative 45 – 51 percent job approval rating, virtually unchanged from a month ago.
Senator Ted Cruz: 48 percent approve, 42 percent disapprove.
Senator John Cornyn: 41 percent approve, 35 percent disapprove.
“The governor takes a big hit for his haste in trying to jump start the state. Popular just seven weeks ago, his approval rating drops precipitously,” Malloy added.
2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
In the race for the White House, 45 percent of voters support former Vice President Joe Biden, while 44 percent back President Trump. That compares to early June when the race was equally tight and voters backed Trump 44 percent to Biden’s 43 percent. In today’s survey, Democrats back Biden 94 – 3 percent, independents back Biden 51 – 32 percent and Republicans back Trump 89 – 6 percent.
“With crises swirling through American society and a country deeply divided, there’s no other way to slice it. It’s a tossup in Texas,” Malloy added.
2020 TEXAS SENATE RACE
In the race for the U.S. Senate, Republican Senator John Cornyn leads Democrat MJ Hegar 47 – 38 percent.
When asked about opinions of the candidates, 41 percent hold a favorable opinion of Cornyn, 24 percent hold an unfavorable opinion of him, and 34 percent haven’t heard enough about him.
For Hegar, 24 percent hold a favorable opinion, 19 percent unfavorable, and 56 percent haven’t heard enough about her.
Three out of the last four polls, and four out of the last six, show Biden in the lead. Out of the thirteen total polls in our collection, the average is now Trump 45.8 and Biden 45.2, which sure looks like a tossup to me. And remember, a big chunk of Trump’s advantage comes from two of the four polls from before June. Take those out and limit the collection to the nine polls from June and July, and it’s Biden in the lead, by the tiny margin of 45.67 to 45.44 over Trump. Like I said, a tossup.
By the way, just for grins I went back and found the FiveThirtyEight poll collection for Texas from 2016. You know what they don’t have in that pile of polls? A single poll showing Hillary Clinton in the lead. That’s not really a surprise, as no one seriously thought Texas would be competitive in 2016, not after Mitt Romney won the state by 16 points in 2012, but it does show how different things are this year. I also found the 2018 polling archive, in which you can actually find one poll with Beto in the lead, and two others where he was tied with Ted Cruz. The final polling average there was Cruz by five, which as we know was an over-estimate. But again, my point here is that things are different this year. Trump is up by less than one point in this year’s 538 average.
As for the Senate race, as you can see Hegar trails Cornyn by nine, though with a significant number of undecideds still out there. She doesn’t do as well as Biden among Democrats (82-6, versus 94-3) or independents (42-40, versus 51-32), and trails among the 35-49 year old crowd while Biden leads with them. I think we’re still in low name recognition territory, with a bit of primary runoff hangover, but it’s another data point to suggest Cornyn may run ahead of Trump. We’ve had mixed evidence on this score, and it’s something I’m watching closely.
Finally, more evidence that Greg Abbott has damaged his standing by his poor handling of the COVID crisis. I think he has a better chance than Trump does of turning that around – not hard, since I think Trump has no chance of doing that – but he’s definitely hurt himself. May all polls going forward include these questions.