Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
Texas voters are almost evenly split on the question of whether Donald Trump should be allowed to mount a comeback, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Asked whether “Trump took actions as president that justify preventing him from holding future elected office,” 45% said he did and 48% said he did not. Not surprisingly, 84% of voters who identified themselves as Democrats say he did, and 81% of Republican voters say he didn’t. Among independent voters, 38% said barring Trump would be justified, and 47% said it would not be justified.
“Almost all of the Democrats say he should be barred, along with 13% of Republicans,” said Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
A similar question in the February 2020 UT/TT Poll, taken after Trump’s first impeachment, produced similar results. Asked whether “Donald Trump has taken actions while president that justify his removal from office before the end of his term,” 43% of Texas voters said yes and 46% said no. Then, as now, partisan differences were stark: 80% of Democrats said yes, and 84% of Republicans said no.
“These numbers suggest he’s going to remain influential among these Republican voters,” said Jim Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin. “Whether you like Donald Trump or not, these numbers show why Republicans are hanging on his every word.”
Trump is viewed about as favorably now in the state as he was in the UT/TT Poll in October 2020, right before the election: 46% of Texas voters view him favorably and 46% have an unfavorable opinion of the former president. In October, his favorable/unfavorable numbers were 49%-46%. And Trump remains in better light than he did right before his election four years ago. In an October 2016 UT/TT Poll, 31% of Texans had a positive opinion of him while 58% had a negative one.
“He has completely consolidated his Republican base in Texas,” Shaw said.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 12-18 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points. 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.
Correction, Feb. 26, 2021: An earlier version of this story misstated when the University of Texas/Tribune Poll was conducted. The poll was conducted Feb. 12-18, not Feb. 12-25.