Battleground 2020Elections 2020Statewide NewsQuinnipiac Poll Shows Biden Up One Point on Trump, Abbott’s Approval Down Eight Points in Texas

Quinnipiac University's latest poll also shows waning confidence in Governor Abbott's handling of the pandemic but support for his actions such as the mask mandate and bar closures.
July 22, 2020

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An early June poll by Quinnipiac showed President Donald Trump up a slim one-point margin on former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas. And now the polling center’s latest installation over a month and a half later shows those positions swapped, with Biden now up one point on Trump.

Each candidate is overwhelmingly supported by their respective party’s voters, but Biden leads among independents 51 to 32 percent.

Trump maintains a 16-point advantage when it comes to the handling of the economy while Biden has a slight three-point edge when it comes to the handling of the pandemic.

To that end, 35 percent of voters polled said the economy was their biggest issue compared with the 22 percent who emphasized the pandemic.

Additionally, both Biden and Trump have a 49 percent unfavorable rating but Trump has a six-point higher favorable rating than Biden does.

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An interesting benchmark by which to compare these results is the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent John Cornyn (R-TX) and Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar.

In that race, Cornyn leads Hegar 47 to 38 percent. Cornyn’s favorable rating is 41 percent while his unfavorable rating is 24. Hegar, meanwhile, has a 24 percent favorable rating and a 19 percent unfavorable with 56 percent too unfamiliar to make a decision.

For the incumbents, Quinnipiac polled respondents on job approvals.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has the highest approval rating at 48 percent followed by Trump at 45 percent and Cornyn at 41 percent. However, Cornyn has the lowest disapproval rating among the three at 35 percent.

At a state level, Governor Greg Abbott’s job approval rating dropped eight points since the last poll, to 48 percent.

On a coronavirus-specific job rating, 48 percent of respondents disapprove of Abbott’s handling of the pandemic compared to 47 percent of those who approve.

Nearly three-quarters of those polled believe coronavirus is still a serious problem.

While respondents are opposed to another stay-at-home order, two of the five polled regions, Houston and southern Texas, are in favor of a new order. Meanwhile, 80 percent support the governor’s mask order.

Regarding the governor’s bar closure order of late-June, three-quarters of those polled support it and believe it to have been effective. The Texas Bar & Nightclub Alliance filed suit against Abbott over the mandated closure shortly thereafter.

But in their hearing on Wednesday over a motion for a temporary restraining order, the judge denied the request stating the plaintiffs did not have standing against Abbott.

Overall, a whopping 69 percent of voters are generally dissatisfied with how the country is trending today.

With the election nearing, Democrats believe they have an opportunity to flip the Lone Star State while some on the right hope the polls are as wrong as they were four years ago.

In 2016, the RealClearPolitics polling average for Texas had Trump up 12 points though he underperformed in the actual vote, winning by nine percent.

Either way, we’re still a few months out and it’ll become more clear the closer November becomes.

The poll surveyed 880 likely voters from July 16-20 and has a ± 3.3 percent margin of error.

View the full poll below:


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.