Poll: Approval ratings for Texas Republicans increase under Trump

AUSTIN (NEXSTAR) — Across the board, Texas Republicans are benefiting from the post-election partisan divide, according to a new poll by the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas released Thursday.

“We are seeing in many areas a very polarized state,” said Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin and the co-director of the poll.

Henson said, “Partisanship is really defining this so you see two things, you see Democrats uniformly disapproving of Republicans from the presidency on down.”

According to the poll, 85 percent of the state’s Democrats disapprove of President Donald Trump’s work so far.

Texas Republicans have just as strong of a reaction, only the opposite direction — 81 percent approve of Trump’s performance as commander-in-chief.

The poll shows President Trump’s approval numbers among Texas Republicans increased about 20 points since an October poll, taken on the eve of the General Election.

“Republicans are just kind of in a good mood, they are rallying around Trump,” Henson said, and now that enthusiasm is spreading to the state level.

Approval ratings for the state’s top ranking officials increased among Texas Republicans. Some representatives jump up by several points in the two months Trump has been President.

In Texas’ top position, Gov. Greg Abbott continues to score higher than any other statewide officials.

Overall, Texas Republicans saw slight increases in approval ratings while the numbers for the state’s Democrats remained relatively unchanged, even among Democratic voters.

Henson said, “This seems to be a national dynamic, it’s put Republicans in a much more enthusiastic and positive stance towards their political leaders and leaders in Texas benefited from that.”

According to the poll, only 8 percent of Texans have a neutral opinion on Trump’s job performance.

Overall, 46 percent of Texans approve of Trump’s job performance and 44 percent disapprove.

“Even though there’s a lot of push back and a lot of opposition to Trump among people who are not his supporters, partisanship is really driving a lot of the assessments of Trump among Republicans,” Henson said.

He believes approval ratings for the state’s Republican lawmakers will continue to climb, along with Trump’s numbers.

“I think as long as he continues to be aggressive on immigration in the way that he is, Republicans in Texas are going to have a favorable view of him, however much Trump’s detractors are aggravated by what he’s doing,” Henson said.

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