New survey results released today by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs show that Republican candidate Donald Trump has a three-point lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton among registered voters in Texas, which equals the survey’s margin of error.
Trump leads Clinton 41 percent to 38 percent, with four percent selecting the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson, one percent supporting the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and 16 percent chose undecided, none of the listed candidates or refused to answer.
Every Republican presidential candidate has carried Texas by at least 11 percent since 2000, when George W. Bush received 59 percent of the vote versus 38 percent for Al Gore, and 61 percent to 38 percent versus John Kerry in 2004. In 2008, John McCain beat Barack Obama 55 percent to 44 percent, and Mitt Romney beat Obama 57 percent to 41 percent in 2012.
Trump’s lead increases slightly, to four percent, among voters who say they are certain to vote. Clinton leads Trump 30 percent to 14 percent among independents. In addition, men back Trump 44 percent to 35 percent over Clinton, while women support Clinton 42 percent to 38 percent.
“The national gains Hillary Clinton has made in the last two weeks are evident in Texas, where she has closed within three points of Donald Trump,” said Richard Murray, professor of political science and director of the Hobby School’s Survey Research Institute. “With such a close margin, the key question will be which candidate can actually get their supporters to the polls over the next three weeks.”
The survey also finds both candidates have very high unfavorable ratings in Texas. Trump is viewed as highly unfavorable by 48 percent, and very favorable by 19 percent. Meanwhile, Clinton is viewed as highly unfavorable by 47 percent, and very favorable by 23 percent.
Murray noted that a half million vote-by-mail ballots have been sent out in Texas, and early in-person voting, which accounts for a majority of the state’s total vote, starts next week. Without significant investment by either party, he said turnout will be driven by voter enthusiasm – which likely favors Trump – and get-out-the-vote efforts, which could give Clinton an advantage.
The survey results are based on live telephone interviews with 1,000 registered Texas voters, who reported that they were certain to vote (77 percent) or very likely to vote (23 percent) on or before Election Day on November 8, 2016. The sample was weighted to reflect the racial and ethnic composition of the electorate based on the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
Interviews were conducted by Customer Research International between October 7 and October 15, and the margin of error for the survey is +/- three percent at the 95 percent confidence level. The survey was conducted under the supervision of co-directors Murray and Robert Stein, research associate at the Hobby School.
Survey results, including questions regarding voter perception of illegal voting and photo ID, are available here.