The Battleground 2024: Texas

Marist Texas Poll

Trump With Double-Digit Lead Over Biden in Texas; Margin Narrows Among Definite Voters… Cruz Leads Allred in Senate Race

In Texas, where former President Donald Trump carried the state by about five-and-a-half percentage points in 2020, Trump now leads Biden by double that (11 percentage points) among registered voters. However, Trump’s lead narrows to seven percentage points among those who say they will definitely vote in November’s election. In the race for U.S. Senate, Republican incumbent Ted Cruz leads his Democratic challenger, Colin Allred, by 6 percentage points among Texas registered voters. The contest changes little among those definite to vote.

Presidential Contest in Texas
If November's general election for president were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are: [If undecided: If you had to decide today, are you leaning more towards]:
Source: Marist Poll Texas Registered Voters. Interviews conducted March 18th through March 21st, 2024, n=1,117 MOE +/- 3.8 percentage points. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • 55% of Texas registered voters support Trump against Biden (44%) in this year’s presidential election. Among those who definitely plan to vote, Trump (53%) has a seven-percentage point lead (46%) against Biden.

  • Independents, who Biden carried by 6-percentage points in 2020, now break for Trump. Trump receives 56% of Texas independents to 41% for Biden.

  • Biden’s support among younger voters has diminished. Trump (57%) leads Biden (43%) by 14-percentage points among those between the ages of 18 and 29 years. According to the Exit Polls of the 2020 General Election in Texas, Biden (57%) handily defeated Trump (40%) with this group. While voters aged 30 to 44 years divided between Biden and Trump in 2020, Trump (60%) has a wide lead against Biden (40%) among these voters in the state.

  • Trump has made inroads among Black voters. While Biden (64%) leads Trump (34%) by nearly two-to-one among Black voters, Biden received the support of a much greater proportion of Black voters (90%) in the 2020 election. Biden has also lost support among Latino voters. Biden (52%) edges Trump (47%) by five percentage points. He carried this group of voters by 17 percentage points in 2020.

  • In a three-candidate race, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is yet to achieve ballot status in Texas, Trump (48%) has a 12-percentage point lead over Biden (36%) among the Texas electorate. Kennedy receives 15% of the vote.

"Trump’s lead among independents and younger voters and his improved standing among Black and Latino voters is a striking change from four years ago," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Democrats have a long way to go to put Texas in play in November."

Biden Approval Rating Upside Down in Texas

38% of Texas adults approve of the job Biden is doing as President. 55% disapprove. By more than two-to-one, Texas residents strongly disapprove (42%) of the job Biden is doing in office than strongly approve (18%). This is little changed from 2022.

Mental Fitness a Political Liability for Biden in Texas, Not So Much for Trump

62% of Texas residents — including 88% of Republicans, 61% of independents, and 28% of Democrats — say Biden’s mental fitness to be president is a real concern. 36% think it is a campaign strategy used by his opponents.

A majority of Texas residents are not worried about Trump’s mental ability to be President. 54% — including 81% of Republicans, 60% of independents, and 20% of Democrats — believe questions about Trump’s mental fitness are a campaign strategy used by his opponents. 43% are concerned about his mental acumen.

Texans Have Negative View of Biden, Divide About Trump… RFK Jr. Little-Known

55% of Texas residents have an unfavorable impression of President Biden, including 58% of independents. 37% have a positive impression of him.

In contrast, Texas residents divide about Trump. 46% have an unfavorable opinion of the former president while 47% have a favorable one.

About one in three residents statewide (33%) views Kennedy positively. 27% have a negative image of him, and 40% have either never heard of Kennedy or are unsure how to rate him.

Trump’s Actions Below Board, Say More than Seven in Ten

73% of Texans think Trump’s actions while president were either illegal (42%) or unethical but not illegal (31%). 26% say Trump did nothing wrong.

Most Democrats (83%) and a plurality of independents (42%) say Trump broke the law. An additional 30% of independents think Trump engaged in unethical behavior but did not break the law. While a plurality of Republicans (48%) say Trump did nothing wrong, 44% think he did something unethical.

Many residents (61%), including 89% of Democrats, 67% of independents, and 30% of Republicans do not think Trump should receive immunity from criminal prosecution for actions taken while president. 38%, including 68% of Republicans, think he should be granted immunity.

A majority of Texans (53%) say the investigations into the former president are fair and are intended to find out if he broke the law. This includes 89% of Democrats and 55% of independents but only 18% of Republicans. Fueled by Republicans (81%), 46% of Texas residents say the investigations are unfair and are a means of getting in the way of the 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump Viewed Stronger on Economy, Immigration, and Preserving Democracy

Six in ten Texas adults (60%) think Trump would better handle the economy as president than Biden (38%). Trump (59%) also has the advantage over Biden (39%) on the issue of immigration. Texans give Trump (51%) an edge over Biden (47%) on preserving democracy. However, they divide about whether Biden (48%) or Trump (47%) would better handle the issue of abortion.

Immigration, Inflation, and Preserving Democracy Top Voting Issues

27% of Texas residents say immigration is top of mind for them when deciding their vote for president. 26% mention inflation, and 24% cite preserving democracy. Nine percent say abortion is their number-one voting issue while the same proportion (9%) cite healthcare. Five percent say crime is a pressing concern when thinking about November’s elections.

While 43% of Republicans mention immigration, 40% of Democrats choose preserving democracy as their top concern. Among independents, immigration (29%) is the priority followed closely by preserving democracy (24%) and inflation (23%).

Cruz is +6 Percentage Points Over Allred in Texas Senate Race

Republican incumbent Ted Cruz (51%) leads his Democratic challenger Colin Allred (45%) by six percentage points among Texas registered voters. Among independents, Cruz (50%) is up by eight percentage points against Allred (42%). There is a wide gender gap. Cruz (59%) carries men by 21 percentage points over Allred (38%). Allred (52%) tops Cruz (44%) among women.

Opinions of Cruz Mixed… Allred Mostly Unknown

45% of Texas residents have a favorable opinion of Cruz, and 43% have an unfavorable one. Allred has low name recognition in the state. A majority (53%) have either never heard of Allred or are unsure how to rate him. 30% have a positive view of Allred while only 17% have an unfavorable one.

Texas Republicans Best Democrats in Early Look at the Generic Ballot

A majority of registered voters statewide (54%) say they are more likely to vote for the Republican candidate on the ballot in their district rather than the Democratic candidate (44%). Among independent voters, 55% say they are more likely to cast their ballot for the Republican congressional candidate.

More Than Seven in Ten Confident in Electoral Process

72% of Texans are either very confident or confident that their state or local government will conduct a fair and accurate election in November. Regardless of party affiliation, a strong majority of residents believe in the integrity of Texas’ elections.

Domestic Issues Should be the Priority, Say a Majority of Texas Residents

56% of Texans, including 62% of Republicans and 58% of independents, think the U.S. should focus on its own problems and play less of a leadership role globally. 43% of residents, including 57% of Democrats, think it is crucial for the U.S. to play a major leadership role in world events.