Texas voters didn’t like the way the impeachment process was handled, and they pass the blame around, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Only 39% liked the way President Donald Trump handled impeachment, and 38% approved of congressional Republicans’ work. Only 37% approved of the way Democrats in Congress handled the process.
Just who liked what depends largely on party. Among Republicans, 75% approved of Trump’s handling of the impeachment proceedings, and another 12% had neutral opinions. Only 11% of Republicans expressed disapproval. But only 6% of Democrats approved of his work, while 83% disapproved.
That partisan divide extends to other key figures in the impeachment drama. Overall, 34% approve and 52% disapprove of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s role. And 33% approve of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s work, while 46% disapprove. Inside those numbers, 69% of Texas Democrats approve of the Democratic speaker’s work, and 87% of Republicans do not. And while 63% of Republicans approve of the Republican majority leader’s work, 74% of Democrats do not.
They weren't clear on the result they wanted, either: Voters were divided on whether Trump has done anything that would justify removing him from office. Among all voters, 43% said removal was justified, 46% said it was not. Among Republicans, 84% said no; among Democrats, 80% said yes. Independent voters were split, 41%-30%.
Overall, 45% of Texas voters have favorable opinions of the job Trump is doing, and 48% do not — numbers that mirror the strong Republican support and strong Democratic opposition to the president.
For all of that, he’s doing better than Congress. Only 18% of Texas voters say Congress is doing a good job, while 61% disapprove of that branch’s work. And that’s bipartisan: 21% of Democrats and 18% of Republicans give Congress good marks; 58% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans give Congress bad grades.
The most trusted branch of the federal government, the poll found, is the U.S. Supreme Court and the judiciary, chosen by 30% of the voters. The president and the executive branch were most trusted by 27% of voters, and Congress and the legislative branch were most trusted by just 12%. For Democrats, the courts were most trusted, the executive branch the least. Republicans had the executive branch first, followed by the courts.
A majority of voters — 56% — would rather have government officials compromise when they disagree, while 44% said those officials should instead stand on principle. And those voters don’t agree on how their elected officials should disagree: About two-thirds of Democratic and independent voters said compromise is the preferred route. Among Republicans, 54% said officials should stand on principle instead.
A slight majority of Texas voters — 52% — said they would “definitely not” or “probably not” vote to reelect the president, but 50% of them like the way he has handled the economy.
"This suggests that the conventional wisdom — that his greatest asset is the economy — might be right. His highest number is on his handling of the economy," said James Henson, head of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin and co-director of the poll.
Support for Trump’s economics is driven by Republicans; 89% of Republican voters said they approve of the president’s handling of the economy. Among Democrats, 68% said they don’t approve, while independents were split, 43% approving and 34% disapproving.
On foreign policy, the president is about even, with 44% approval of his work and 45% disapproval. On trade negotiations, 44% approve and 43% disapprove. And on immigration and border security — top issues among Texas voters — 45% approve of the president’s work and 47% disapprove.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points, and an overall margin of error of +/- 4.09 percentage points for Democratic trial ballots. Numbers in charts might not add up to 100% because of rounding.
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.