With the 2023 State of the Union address on deck, a look at Texas views of President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is widely expected to use his third State of the Union address to tout legislative achievements in the first two years of his presidency while pointng to historically low unemployment – even as the Federal Reserve continues its efforts to wring price inflation out of an economy still on an uncertain trajectory. The political terrain is just as uncertain. Biden will address a Congress now divided between a Democratically-controlled Senate and narrow GOP majority in the House of Representatives, with the ongoing negotiations over raising the debt ceiling looming over the proceedings. The discussion of foreign policy in the speech likely would have focused on NATO support of Ukraine's resistance to the nearly year-old Russian invation. But the Chinese balloon that traversed Yellowstone country last week before being shot down over U.S. airspace by a U.S. military jet shortly after it reached the Atlantic, will float China back to the center of the foreign policy section of the speech.

While the 2022 election proved to be a relative success for Biden compared to the usual (and widely predicted) first mid-term losses experienced by the party of incumbent presidents, Texas voters' assessment of him reflect the political landscape in a state which stayed firmly in Republican hands at the state level in 2022 after voting for loser Donald Trump by a margin of 52.1% to Biden's 46.5% in 2020. In the December 2022 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, 42% approved of the job Biden is doing, while 50% disapproved, 43%  strongly (including 83% of Republicans and 49% of independents who strong disapproved). More ominous in the same poll, nearly a third of Texans still think Biden was not the legitimate winner of the 2022 presidential election, including 61% of Republicans (with another 16% still saying they are not sure). Texas, of course, is likely not central to the President's electoral strategy as he positions himself for what is, at this point, a widely anticipated but still not formally announced reelection campaign. (In the August UT/Texas Politics Project Poll, only 24% said he should run for reelection, including only 42% of Texas Democrats.)  

The partisan patterns in Texas support or lack thereof for Biden are evident in almost all assessments of him in Texas Politics Project polling. The results compiled below provide data on Biden's job approval, views of the 2020 election, and views of Biden' performance on the economy, gun violence, immigration and border security, crime, climate change, and foreign policy. With Ukraine and now China looming large in the speech, we've also included very recent results from a battery of questions probling attitudes toward foreign countries and foreign policy from our December 2022 poll.

The softest spots in Biden's overall approval in areas like the economy and border security loomed large in 2022 state elections, and Republicans continue to use resisting or reversing Biden's priorities are already inflecting the politics of the 88th Texas legislature. While the SOTU is always a big (if fleeting) moment in national politics, Biden's action (or inaction) on all of these domestic policy issues have been and will contine to be used as foils by Republicans in Texas as the session unfolds. 

Job approval (December, 2022)

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Approve strongly18%
Approve somewhat24%
Neither approve nor disapprove7%
Disapprove somewhat7%
Disapprove strongly43%
Don't know1%

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Approve strongly37%6%3%
Approve somewhat44%11%6%
Neither approve nor disapprove7%16%3%
Disapprove somewhat7%15%5%
Disapprove strongly4%49%83%
Don't know0%2%0%

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Approve strongly21%17%13%
Approve somewhat32%22%15%
Neither approve nor disapprove9%8%3%
Disapprove somewhat11%6%5%
Disapprove strongly25%47%64%
Don't know2%1%0%

Job approval trend

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categoryApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 202145%44%11%
March 202144%43%12%
April 202144%46%11%
June 202143%47%10%
August 202140%51%9%
October 202135%55%11%
February 202236%52%11%
April 202237%54%9%
June 202235%55%11%
August 202240%52%9%
October 202239%52%10%
December 202242%50%8%
February 202341%50%10%
April 202340%49%11%
June 202338%50%12%
August 202338%52%9%
October 202337%53%11%

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categoryApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 202189%2%9%
March 202187%3%10%
April 202188%2%11%
June 202188%3%9%
August 202174%6%10%
October 202175%11%14%
February 202276%9%16%
April 202279%13%8%
June 202274%13%13%
August 202279%11%11%
October 202278%10%11%
December 202281%11%7%
February 202382%9%10%
April 202380%9%12%
June 202375%9%17%
August 202375%11%13%
October 202375%14%11%

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categoryApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 202112%80%9%
March 20217%82%11%
April 20217%86%7%
June 20219%84%7%
August 20216%91%2%
October 20215%91%4%
February 20226%91%3%
April 20226%87%6%
June 20227%88%4%
August 20229%88%4%
October 20228%90%2%
December 20229%88%3%
February 20237%91%2%
April 202310%86%4%
June 20237%88%5%
August 20235%91%3%
October 20238%85%7%

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categoryApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 202128%49%24%
March 202132%40%27%
April 202130%43%26%
June 202127%52%21%
August 202129%52%20%
October 202120%57%23%
February 202217%63%20%
April 202218%61%21%
June 202214%66%20%
August 202214%71%16%
October 202223%67%10%
December 202217%64%18%
February 202321%68%12%
April 202324%54%21%
June 202316%70%14%
August 202318%67%15%
October 202316%63%17%

Views of household and national economy

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PollBetterSame Compared to a Year AgoWorse
October 200917%39%43%
February 201017%41%41%
May 201020%42%38%
September 201020%39%40%
October 201019%38%41%
February 201120%45%35%
May 201118%40%41%
October 201116%40%43%
February 201220%45%34%
May 201219%48%32%
October 201223%43%34%
June 201325%44%30%
October 201322%41%35%
February 201425%43%31%
June 201427%42%29%
October 201427%42%30%
February 201527%44%28%
June 201526%48%24%
November 201523%45%30%
February 201625%45%28%
June 201623%44%29%
October 201627%44%27%
February 201727%50%23%
June 201725%52%20%
October 201731%47%21%
February 201838%42%18%
June 201837%42%20%
October 201839%39%19%
February 201940%39%19%
June 201940%37%19%
October 201940%38%18%
February 202041%38%19%
April 202028%34%35%
June 202024%43%31%
October 202023%44%31%
February 202118%49%29%
March 202122%49%28%
April 202121%53%23%
June 202123%49%25%
August 202120%46%31%
October 202120%43%35%
February 202221%39%38%
April 202217%37%43%
June 202214%32%53%
August 202217%38%42%
October 202213%35%49%
December 202216%36%46%
February 202316%35%46%
April 202321%33%44%
June 202319%36%42%
August 202318%35%45%
October 202319%32%47%

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PollBetterSame Compared to a Year AgoWorse
October 200924%16%59%
February 201028%19%52%
May 201028%24%47%
September 201023%21%54%
October 201022%20%56%
February 201127%30%41%
May 201122%26%49%
October 201114%25%59%
February 201229%30%39%
May 201228%29%39%
October 201232%25%42%
June 201335%31%33%
October 201325%25%49%
February 201429%28%40%
June 201431%26%41%
October 201431%30%37%
February 201536%33%29%
June 201531%33%34%
November 201532%28%37%
February 201630%27%40%
June 201626%29%40%
October 201628%29%40%
February 201740%36%20%
June 201742%30%25%
October 201743%33%22%
February 201853%26%19%
June 201851%23%22%
October 201851%26%19%
February 201949%23%24%
June 201947%23%26%
October 201945%24%24%
February 202048%25%24%
April 202021%11%64%
June 202017%10%70%
October 202017%13%67%
February 202115%20%61%
April 202131%22%43%
June 202134%19%43%
August 202130%19%47%
October 202125%18%55%
February 202224%19%53%
April 202221%15%63%
June 202214%11%73%
August 202220%17%60%
October 202217%17%62%
December 202220%18%59%
February 202324%19%53%
April 202323%19%55%
June 202323%22%54%
August 202325%19%54%
October 202323%20%55%


Views of legitimacy of 2022 election

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Not sure11%

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Not sure4%11%16%

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CategoryLean RepublicanNot very strong RepublicanStrong Republican
Not sure15%24%13%


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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Not sure12%17%11%


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Not sure10%11%13%

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Approve strongly17%13%8%
Approve somewhat29%15%7%
Neither approve nor disapprove16%15%7%
Disapprove somewhat9%8%11%
Disapprove strongly26%45%64%
Don't know3%4%3%

Issue approval (October 2022)

The economy

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Approve strongly13%
Approve somewhat18%
Neither approve nor disapprove14%
Disapprove somewhat9%
Disapprove strongly43%
Don't know4%

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Approve strongly24%9%2%
Approve somewhat34%11%5%
Neither approve nor disapprove24%17%3%
Disapprove somewhat8%12%7%
Disapprove strongly6%41%82%
Don't know4%9%1%

Gun violence

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Approve strongly12%
Approve somewhat19%
Neither approve nor disapprove16%
Disapprove somewhat11%
Disapprove strongly38%
Don't know4%

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Approve strongly24%9%2%
Approve somewhat33%10%8%
Neither approve nor disapprove20%21%11%
Disapprove somewhat12%16%8%
Disapprove strongly8%33%69%
Don't know4%12%2%

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Approve strongly17%12%5%
Approve somewhat27%18%10%
Neither approve nor disapprove15%16%15%
Disapprove somewhat11%11%9%
Disapprove strongly26%38%56%
Don't know3%5%5%

Immigration and border security

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Approve strongly9%
Approve somewhat19%
Neither approve nor disapprove14%
Disapprove somewhat8%
Disapprove strongly46%
Don't know4%

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Approve strongly16%7%3%
Approve somewhat36%8%5%
Neither approve nor disapprove26%16%3%
Disapprove somewhat10%11%4%
Disapprove strongly8%48%83%
Don't know4%10%1%

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Approve strongly12%9%6%
Approve somewhat31%16%10%
Neither approve nor disapprove19%14%7%
Disapprove somewhat6%9%8%
Disapprove strongly28%48%66%
Don't know4%4%3%

Crime and public safety

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Approve strongly13%
Approve somewhat17%
Neither approve nor disapprove17%
Disapprove somewhat9%
Disapprove strongly39%
Don't know4%

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Approve strongly27%8%1%
Approve somewhat29%13%7%
Neither approve nor disapprove25%21%8%
Disapprove somewhat9%11%8%
Disapprove strongly5%38%75%
Don't know5%10%2%

Climate change

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Approve strongly15%
Approve somewhat18%
Neither approve nor disapprove18%
Disapprove somewhat9%
Disapprove strongly34%
Don't know5%

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Approve strongly30%12%3%
Approve somewhat32%8%7%
Neither approve nor disapprove20%29%12%
Disapprove somewhat9%6%11%
Disapprove strongly5%36%63%
Don't know4%10%4%

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Approve strongly12%14%15%19%
Approve somewhat24%22%14%15%
Neither approve nor disapprove24%22%17%10%
Disapprove somewhat17%12%7%5%
Disapprove strongly15%26%42%46%
Don't know8%4%4%4%

Foreign policy

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Approve strongly17%
Approve somewhat18%
Neither approve nor disapprove12%
Disapprove somewhat8%
Disapprove strongly40%
Don't know4%

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Approve strongly35%12%1%
Approve somewhat29%11%9%
Neither approve nor disapprove18%20%4%
Disapprove somewhat9%6%8%
Disapprove strongly4%41%76%
Don't know5%11%1%

Additional foreign policy attitudes

Views of China

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Very favorable3%
Somewhat favorable7%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable17%
Somewhat unfavorable18%
Very unfavorable51%
Don't know/No opinion5%

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Very favorable4%2%1%
Somewhat favorable8%5%6%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable20%26%9%
Somewhat unfavorable25%19%12%
Very unfavorable39%43%69%
Don't know/No opinion3%6%3%

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Very favorable3%2%2%
Somewhat favorable6%11%4%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable19%30%8%
Somewhat unfavorable29%17%12%
Very unfavorable40%29%72%
Don't know/No opinion3%11%2%

Views of Ukraine

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Very favorable20%
Somewhat favorable30%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable21%
Somewhat unfavorable10%
Very unfavorable12%
Don't know/No opinion7%

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Very favorable34%10%11%
Somewhat favorable38%23%25%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable12%34%25%
Somewhat unfavorable5%10%14%
Very unfavorable4%16%20%
Don't know/No opinion7%7%5%

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Very favorable36%16%11%
Somewhat favorable38%29%25%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable13%24%25%
Somewhat unfavorable5%8%15%
Very unfavorable5%8%20%
Don't know/No opinion3%14%5%

Comparative views of selected countries

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Great Britain62%
South Korea55%
Saudi Arabia12%
North Korea7%

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Great Britain68%50%64%
South Korea58%50%59%
Saudi Arabia12%7%12%
North Korea7%10%7%

U.S. Support of Urkraine

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Too much29%
Too little22%
Right amount34%
Don't know/No opinion15%

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Too much13%38%44%
Too little28%17%18%
Right amount45%29%25%
Don't know/No opinion14%16%13%

Attitudes toward U.S. international engagement

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Strongly agree15%
Somewhat agree29%
Somewhat disagree24%
Strongly disagree23%
Don't know/No opinion9%

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Strongly agree7%27%19%
Somewhat agree19%26%40%
Somewhat disagree28%29%19%
Strongly disagree37%7%15%
Don't know/No opinion9%10%7%


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Yes, should run24%
No, should not run59%
Don't know / No opinion16%

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Yes, should run42%16%10%
No, should not run35%60%83%
Don't know / No opinion23%24%7%