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Donald Trump holds narrow lead over Joe Biden in Texas, UT poll finds

President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden.      Jonathan Ernst: Trump | Xavier Collin: Biden via REUTERS
President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden. Jonathan Ernst: Trump | Xavier Collin: Biden via REUTERS

President Donald Trump would beat former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas by 4 percentage points if the election were held today, according to a new poll from the University of Texas and the Texas Politics Project.

The Republican incumbent’s narrow lead four months before the election suggests Texas, a state where no Democratic presidential candidate has prevailed since 1976, is competitive in 2020.

The poll found 48% of Texas registered voters support Trump, while 44% support Biden. Partisans are sticking with their nominees at this point, with 91% of Republicans saying they’d vote for Trump and 93% of Democrats supporting Biden. Among self-identified independent voters, Trump holds a 41-27 edge over his challenger.

Men favor Trump, 53-41, while women favor Biden, 48-43. Among white voters, 59% favor Trump, while 79% of Black voters favor Biden. Among Hispanic voters, Biden holds a 46-39 edge.

Voters are split on the job Trump is doing as president, with 46% giving him good marks — a group that includes 85% approval among Republicans. Slightly more, 48%, say they disapprove of the president’s job performance, including 93% of Democrats. In a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll a year ago, 52% approved of Trump’s performance while 44% did not.

Half of Texas voters approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 42% disapprove. While 44% of voters approve of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, 49% do not. And his handling of race relations has the approval of 41% of Texas registered voters, while 50% disapprove.

The pandemic is the most important problem facing the country today, according to 18% of Texas voters, while 15% say political corruption/leadership is the top problem and another 8% put the economy first.

Only 30% of Texas voters think the country is on the right track, compared with 40% who thought so a year ago. Another 62% say the country is on the wrong track, up from 50% in June 2019.

Most voters — 70% — say the national economy is in worse shape than it was a year ago, while 17% say it’s better and 10% say it’s about the same.

The University of Texas/Texas Politics Project internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from June 19 to June 29 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83% percentage points.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.