Texans remain divided down the middle on whether Donald Trump is competent to be president. Lone Star state residents also are more likely to think he is neither honest nor trustworthy nor temperamentally suited to lead the nation, according to the results of a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Thursday.
Beneath the 43 approval to 51 percent disapproval rating — in which 25 percent of Texans polled said they strongly approve of Trump’s tenure and 44 percent said they strongly disapprove — there is some important good news for Trump: Republicans remain overwhelmingly in his corner.
• 68 percent of Republicans think Trump has the temperament to be president, compared with only 5 percent of Democrats.
• 66 percent of Republicans think Trump is honest and trustworthy, compared with only 4 percent of Democrats.
• 80 percent of Republicans think Trump is competent compared with 9 percent of Democrats.
Altogether, 80 percent of Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing, and 90 percent of Democrats disapprove. Forty-seven percent of independents approve of Trump’s performance while 41 percent disapprove.
Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project, which conducts the poll, said one takeaway from the survey is that if people are expecting “the bottom to fall out of Trump’s support” among Republicans because of all the bad news and tribulations he has experienced since he became president, “It’s just not happening.”
Because Trump was not the Texas favorite in the Republican presidential primary contest — Sen. Ted Cruz was the home state candidate — and Trump won the state by a smaller, 9-point margin than recent Republican nominees, Henson said one might presume his support is softer in Texas than elsewhere and one would detect if he were having trouble with the base earlier in Texas than elsewhere.
“One might think Texas would be the canary in the coal mine. But, if so, the canary is still singing, if not tweeting,” Henson said.
The internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted June 2 to 11 and has a margin of error of 2.83 percentage points.
Republicans were also much less likely than Democrats to think Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election, with only 9 percent of Republicans compared with 75 percent of Democrats taking that view.
Eighty percent of Republicans don’t believe there was coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, while 74 percent of Democratic voters think there was.
The questions about Trump and Russia seems to be coloring Texans’ views of the FBI and of Russia along partisan lines.
While 51 percent of Democrats hold a favorable opinion of the FBI, 43 percent of Republicans share that view.
Most Texans take a dim view of Russia — with only 11 percent holding a favorable view — but there is a partisan divide. Only 5 percent of Democrats hold a positive view of Russia, 71 percent hold a negative view, and 24 percent are neutral. But 15 percent of Republicans hold a positive view of Russia, 45 percent a negative view, and 40 percent are neutral.
The poll also found that while Obamacare — the Affordable Care Act — is unpopular in Texas, the Republican alternative passed by the U.S. House, known as the American Health Care Act, is even less popular.
Texas opinions were divided with 39 percent holding a favorable view of the existing health care law and 49 percent an unfavorable view. Of the House proposal, 20 percent of Texas voters hold a favorable view and 51 percent have an unfavorable view.