Poll: Approval for San Antonio, Bexar County government dipping; still above pre-pandemic ratings

Nirenberg, Wolff, City Council see drops; Commissioners Court sees bump

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff (KSAT)

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series reporting on the latest Bexar Facts poll. Find more coverage on our Bexar Facts page.

The latest Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio Report poll shows approval ratings for Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, and the San Antonio City Council are slowly declining, though all three continue to poll higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic among Bexar County voters.

The exception is the Bexar County Commissioners Court, which saw an increase in its approval ratings, though it appears to be much less known than the others.

In the recent poll, more than 600 registered Bexar County voters were asked by phone and internet between Sept. 17-21 if they approved or disapproved of the jobs done by Nirenberg, Wolff, the San Antonio City Council, and the Bexar County Commissioners Court.

Bexar Facts polling Sept. 17-21 (Bexar Facts)

Nirenberg and Wolff, who continue to remain highly visible through regular televised briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic, each dropped 2 to 3 points in overall approval from the previous poll, conducted June 10-14. However, at 60 percent approval for Wolff and 65 percent for Nirenberg, both are rated 5 to 9 points above their pre-pandemic numbers in February. Neither are up for reelection in November.

The San Antonio City Council’s approval rating saw a steeper decline, from 55 percent approval in June to 49 percent in September. The council, which was heavily criticized by activists for increasing the San Antonio Police Department budget on the first day of the poll, saw a similar increase in overall disapproval, from 31 percent to 36.

However, the council still remains just above its February approval rating of 48 percent.

Bexar Facts polling, Sept. 17-21 (Bexar Facts)

Public support for the local government officials remains higher than for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who, in the same Bexar Facts poll this month, saw his disapproval rating nearly double. Further, Abbott’s approval rating fell from 70 percent in April to 45 percent in Sept., making the single-digit drops for local politicians look minor.

The Bexar County Commissioners Court, which also passed its new budget shortly before the poll began, saw both its approval and disapproval ratings go up to 48 percent and 23 respectively.

However, a good portion of those polled - 29 percent - did not have an opinion, perhaps reflecting the lower profile of the commissioners court when compared to city council decisions.

The poll’s margin of error is 4 percent.

KSAT will publish more results from the poll — from local propositions and approval ratings to the biggest issues facing San Antonio and evolving public opinion on the coronavirus pandemic and policing — in the coming days in our Bexar Facts section.

See the full poll and find more information about it on the Bexar Facts website. There, you can also take the survey for yourself (those results will be recorded but not reflected in the scientific results.)

Stay up to date with the latest election news and resources on our Vote 2020 page.

About the Author:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.