Texas poll: Biden's overall job approval drops to 32%, handling of the border falls to 20/71

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Lefties will shrug off this Quinnipiac poll on grounds that it’s a red state. But it ain’t that red. Trump won Iowa and Ohio by eight points each last fall. He won Texas by five and a half. Biden pulled more than 46 percent of the vote.

Which means his current overall approval rating of 32/61 indicates some serious slippage.

What’s noteworthy about the Q-poll isn’t just his overall decline in Texas, it’s his poor numbers among Latinos specifically. The one silver lining for Republicans in last November’s presidential results was that Trump made a dent in Dems’ hold on the Hispanic vote, particularly in counties along the Texas/Mexico border. Democrats are desperate to get those voters back. These new numbers suggest Biden is moving in the opposite direction.

It’s not all because of his border policies either. But it’s partly because of his border policies.

Voters in Texas give President Joe Biden a negative 32 – 61 percent job approval rating. This marks a 24-point net change from June 2021, when 45 percent of Texas voters approved of the job he was doing and 50 percent disapproved.

On Biden’s handling of the response to the coronavirus, voters give him a slightly negative 44 – 49 percent approval rating. This is a substantial drop from June 2021 when they approved 58 – 37 percent.

On Biden’s handling of the situation at the Mexican border, voters give him a negative 20 – 71 percent approval rating, which is a drop compared to a negative 29 – 64 percent rating in June 2021.

Who are the 20 percent of Texans who think he’s doing a good job on immigration? The story of Biden’s porous border policies this year is that they’re infuriating to both sides. Conservatives want the border closed, leftists want it fully open. It may be that part of his decline in Texas on immigration is due to some members of his own party feeling frustrated that he’s not liberal enough.

But the balance of opinion is that he’s too weak on enforcement. Texans support the decision to deport Haitian migrants, 57/31, with even Dems almost evenly split. A slim majority of state residents also support building a border wall, 51/44.

What about Texas Latinos, though? Surely they support Biden’s border policies, no? Er, no:

He’s at -40 on balance among that group on this question. And the fact that Latinos support deporting Haitian migrants by a net of 20 points (52/32) makes me think it’s because Biden isn’t doing enough enforcement, not that he’s doing too much. In fact, a separate national poll from YouGov also shows widespread unhappiness among Hispanics with Biden’s border policies. Fully 43 percent said that he’s not hard enough on immigration; another 37 percent said his policies are about right while just 21 percent believed that he’s too hard on immigration.

According to last year’s exit poll in Texas, Biden beat Trump among Latino voters 58/41. In Quinnipiac’s new poll, his job approval within that group is down to 37/55. And that’s not the only poll of the state recently to show him foundering among Hispanics there, especially on the issue of immigration. Last week the Dallas Morning News found this result:

That’s a 29/47 approval rating on immigration among Texas Latinos. The same poll had his overall approval within that demographic at 35/54. No one would bet too heavily on the Republican nominee winning Latinos in Texas outright in 2024, but if the border remains as porous as it’s been during Biden’s first eight months, no one would bet too heavily against it either.

Again, though, not all of Biden’s decline is due to immigration, even in Texas. Revisit this post from last night for some spitballing about why his numbers have fallen so sharply across various issues, including COVID. (He’s lost 26 net points on that subject in Texas since June, per Quinnipiac.) Between the border, Afghanistan, and the resurgence of the virus, I think Americans are making a general judgment that he’s not up to the task of managing the country’s challenges competently. That colors people’s view of every issue.

Maybe it’ll turn around for him if congressional Dems deliver him a big win on infrastructure. Maybe it won’t.

The Quinnipiac poll didn’t have great numbers for Greg Abbott either, incidentally. They weren’t Biden-level bad but his job approval is at 44/47 (the first time he’s been underwater since 2018) and 51 percent say he doesn’t deserve to be reelected. Cause for concern? Eh. Just 33 percent said his likely opponent, Beto O’Rourke, would make a good governor. And Abbott will be running in a Republican-friendly national environment next fall. I think his downturn is probably just a temporary backlash to the COVID wave that Texas experienced this summer. As that recedes, disapproval of him may recede too.

I’ll leave you with this well-known border hawk sounding a note in support of national sovereignty.