Texas voters are divided nearly 50-50 when it comes to whether they would vote to reelect President Donald Trump in 2020, according to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Tuesday.
Forty-nine percent of voters polled said they "definitely or probably would" vote for Trump in 2020, while 51 percent responded that they "probably or definitely would not" vote for the Republican incumbent, the poll indicated.
However, Trump's job approval rating among Texas voters went up by three percentage points, from 46 to 49 percent, but the percentage of those who disapproved of his job also went up by seven points.
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"President Trump's approval numbers remain relatively stable, based primarily on continued support from Texas Republicans," said James Henson, co-director of the poll and director of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin. "Texas Democrats have settled into intensely negative views of the president, suggesting the possibility of another comparatively high-interest election in 2020."
The poll also checked in on other political figures around the state, including two Democrats who could be in the mix for their party's 2020 presidential nomination.
Among Texas Democrats, former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke -- who has yet to enter the race -- was much more well known than 2020 presidential candidate Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and an Obama-era cabinet secretary.
Eighty-five percent of Democrats had a favorable view of O'Rourke and 11 percent had no opinion of him. Fifty-one percent had a favorable view of Castro, but 43 percent had no opinion of him.
"O'Rourke's standing reflects both a recency bias, as well as the relative success of his 2018 campaign for the U.S. Senate," said UT Austin government professor Daron Shaw, who co-directs the poll. "Voters on both sides of the aisle know about O’Rourke and have opinions on him. Castro, on the other hand, is someone who is known mostly by insiders and voters in San Antonio."
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has a 36 percent job approval rating from Texas voters, with 35 percent disapproving of him. Twenty-nine percent did not have an opinion.
Voters viewed Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) favorably by 19 and 11 percentage points, respectively. Forty-six percent of Texas voters viewed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) favorably, while 43 percent had an unfavorable view of him.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll surveyed 1,200 registered voters and was conducted from Feb. 15-24. It has an overall margin of era of plus or minus 2.83 percentage points.