The (very) early public opinion context for the 2024 US Senate Race in Texas

Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez’s widely-expected announcement that he will join U.S. Congressman Colin Allred in seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in 2024 sets the stage for a long campaign in what could shape up to be one of the marquee Senate races in the next election.

There will be plenty of time to parse both the Democratic primary contest and the general election once the primaries are settled. For now, we’ve compiled some early data on Ted Cruz, conditions in Texas that might broadly shape the context of the election, and some polling results that likely to shape the campaigns as they begin to unfold.

Texans’ Views of Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz Favorability ratings from June 2023

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categoryTotal
Very favorable23%
Somewhat favorable21%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable10%
Somewhat unfavorable8%
Very unfavorable35%
Don't know/No opinion2%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Very favorable6%15%44%
Somewhat favorable9%16%33%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable8%10%10%
Somewhat unfavorable6%23%7%
Very unfavorable70%33%5%
Don't know/No opinion1%3%2%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Very favorable19%42%57%
Somewhat favorable24%38%32%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable10%9%4%
Somewhat unfavorable24%5%2%
Very unfavorable19%5%4%
Don't know/No opinion4%0%1%

Ted Cruz Job Approval Trend

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SENCRUZApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
Oct. 201544%37%20%
Feb. 201637%42%21%
June 201635%43%22%
Oct. 201635%45%20%
Feb. 201738%39%23%
June 201738%44%18%
Oct. 201738%43%18%
Feb. 201840%41%19%
June 201839%41%20%
Oct. 201847%42%11%
Feb. 201946%41%13%
June 201947%39%14%
Oct. 201946%39%15%
Feb. 202042%44%14%
Apr. 202045%39%15%
June 202046%42%13%
Oct. 202046%42%12%
Feb. 202145%43%12%
Mar. 202143%46%12%
Apr. 202143%48%9%
June 202143%46%11%
Aug. 202142%46%12%
Oct. 202145%46%12%
Feb. 202239%43%18%
Apr. 202243%43%13%
June 202241%45%13%
Aug. 202242%44%13%
Oct. 202243%44%13%
Dec. 202244%44%11%
Feb. 202340%46%13%
Apr. 202345%41%14%
June 202345%42%14%
Aug. 202342%45%13%
Oct. 202345%42%13%
Dec. 202344%41%13%
Feb. 202448%39%13%

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SENCRUZApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
Oct. 201575%12%14%
Feb. 201665%18%18%
Jun. 201660%21%20%
Oct. 201664%20%16%
Feb. 201767%13%20%
June 201770%13%18%
Oct. 201765%18%17%
Feb. 201882%12%15%
June 201874%9%18%
Oct. 201887%6%6%
Feb. 201983%7%10%
June 201981%7%12%
Oct. 201979%8%13%
Feb. 202080%10%11%
April 202081%6%14%
Jun. 202081%8%11%
Oct. 202085%8%7%
Feb. 202181%9%10%
Mar. 202178%12%10%
Apr. 202180%13%8%
June 202179%10%10%
Aug. 202177%10%13%
Oct. 202182%6%11%
Feb. 202270%12%18%
Apr. 202278%11%11%
June 202275%11%14%
Aug. 202278%11%11%
Oct. 202280%8%11%
Dec.202282%9%8%
Feb. 202378%10%13%
Apr. 202378%11%11%
June 202377%10%13%
Aug. 202375%12%12%
Oct. 202372%12%16%
Dec. 202375%11%14%
Feb. 202478%11%11%

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SENCRUZApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
Oct. 201534%40%26%
Feb. 201625%48%26%
June 201623%51%26%
Oct. 201627%49%23%
Feb. 201720%53%27%
June 201731%48%20%
Oct. 201737%38%25%
Feb. 201830%40%30%
June 201817%43%39%
Oct. 201826%47%27%
Feb. 201925%45%30%
June 201938%34%28%
Oct. 201930%50%20%
Feb. 202029%40%32%
Apr. 202029%42%29%
June 202037%38%24%
Oct. 202025%56%21%
Feb. 202132%37%32%
Mar. 202127%49%24%
Apr. 202133%52%16%
June 202133%49%17%
Aug. 202135%50%15%
Oct. 202127%57%15%
Feb. 202229%49%23%
Apr. 202224%46%29%
June 202222%51%27%
Aug. 202231%49%20%
Oct. 202228%46%26%
Dec. 202229%49%22%
Feb. 202329%55%16%
Apr. 202322%49%28%
June 202334%44%22%
Aug. 202327%57%17%
Oct. 202336%56%9%
Dec. 202328%46%26%
Feb. 202430%46%23%

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SENCRUZApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
Oct. 201510%66%24%
Feb. 201612%66%21%
June 201610%70%19%
Oct. 20167%74%19%
Feb. 201711%67%22%
June 20177%75%17%
Oct. 201711%73%16%
Feb. 201811%73%17%
June 20189%74%16%
Oct. 20186%83%10%
Feb. 201910%78%12%
June 201912%75%13%
Oct. 201915%71%14%
Feb. 20206%81%13%
Apr. 20209%79%12%
June 20209%80%11%
Oct. 20208%79%13%
Feb. 20217%84%10%
Mar. 20219%84%7%
Apr. 20215%88%6%
June 20215%86%9%
Aug. 20214%89%7%
Oct. 20215%86%10%
Feb. 202212%76%13%
Apr. 20227%83%10%
June 20227%86%8%
Aug. 20228%81%10%
Oct. 20228%83%9%
Dec. 202211%81%8%
Feb. 202312%81%8%
Apr. 202317%73%10%
June 202314%75%11%
Aug. 202314%78%9%
Oct. 202312%77%10%
Dec. 202316%75%9%
Feb. 202423%68%9%

Context for Collin Allred Candidacy

Colin Allred Favorability ratings from June 2023

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categoryTotal
Very favorable10%
Somewhat favorable11%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable22%
Somewhat unfavorable4%
Very unfavorable11%
Don't know/No opinion42%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Very favorable23%1%2%
Somewhat favorable14%3%7%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable22%22%20%
Somewhat unfavorable3%4%6%
Very unfavorable3%16%17%
Don't know/No opinion34%55%48%

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CategoryLean DemocratNot very strong DemocratStrong Democrat
Very favorable12%12%34%
Somewhat favorable16%13%14%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable30%31%14%
Somewhat unfavorable5%3%3%
Very unfavorable3%4%3%
Don't know/No opinion34%36%33%

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CategoryLean liberalSomewhat liberalExtremely liberal
Very favorable19%28%27%
Somewhat favorable19%19%19%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable18%20%15%
Somewhat unfavorable5%1%3%
Very unfavorable1%3%5%
Don't know/No opinion38%30%31%

Context for Roland Guitierrez Candidacy

It's highly likely that the State Senator's campaign will make gun safety and how the legislature, and the Congress, have ignored majority support for stronger gun safety measures a central part of his campaign. 

Approval of the legislature's handling of school safety

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categoryTotal
Approve strongly11%
Approve somewhat24%
Neither approve nor disapprove16%
Disapprove somewhat14%
Disapprove strongly28%
Don't know7%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly9%6%11%
Approve somewhat12%22%38%
Neither approve nor disapprove8%18%22%
Disapprove somewhat17%20%11%
Disapprove strongly49%26%9%
Don't know4%8%8%

Confidence in what the legislature did to improve school safety (a more forward looking assessment) 

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categoryTotal
Extremely confident6%
Very confident12%
Somewhat confident25%
Not very confident19%
Not confident29%
Don't know/No opinion10%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Extremely confident6%3%6%
Very confident9%8%17%
Somewhat confident12%22%36%
Not very confident18%25%19%
Not confident50%27%10%
Don't know/No opinion4%16%12%

Support for raising the age of purchase for any firearm from 18 to 21

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categoryTotal
Strongly support54%
Somewhat support21%
Somewhat oppose9%
Strongly oppose10%
Don't know/No opinion6%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Strongly support74%49%37%
Somewhat support17%11%26%
Somewhat oppose3%15%13%
Strongly oppose3%17%17%
Don't know/No opinion3%9%6%

Intra Party Politics

The Democratic primary race is already activating long-standing arguments among Democrats about the ideological positioning of statewide candidates.

The Democratic Primary

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categoryTotal
Liberal enough39%
Too liberal8%
Not liberal enough33%
Don't know/No opinion20%

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CategoryWhiteBlackHispanic
Liberal enough39%47%32%
Too liberal7%12%7%
Not liberal enough39%20%33%
Don't know/No opinion14%22%27%

The Republican Primary

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categoryTotal
Conservative enough43%
Too conservative15%
Not conservative enough33%
Don't know/No opinion9%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Conservative enough44%47%43%
Too conservative23%12%1%
Not conservative enough17%32%52%
Don't know/No opinion16%9%4%

Texas Mood

As in 2020 and 2022, an inevitable element of any Democratic campaign will be questions about Republican stewardship of the state.

Texas right direction / wrong track from June 23 (38% right direction/49% wrong track)

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categoryTotal
Right direction38%
Wrong track49%
Don't know13%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Right direction21%31%57%
Wrong track70%56%27%
Don't know9%13%16%

Trend

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PollRight DirectionWrong Track
October 200938%39%
February 201043%37%
May 201045%38%
September 201043%38%
October 201045%37%
February 201141%41%
May 201136%48%
October 201139%43%
February 201243%38%
May 201238%42%
October 201243%34%
February 201345%39%
June 201350%32%
October 201342%39%
February 201445%35%
June 201449%33%
October 201448%35%
February 201550%30%
June 201550%32%
November 201545%36%
February 201642%37%
June 201641%38%
October 201642%40%
February 201746%36%
June 201743%40%
October 201743%40%
February 201848%36%
June 201846%37%
October 201850%35%
February 201949%35%
June 201949%34%
October 201947%35%
February 202049%37%
April 202043%43%
June 202041%47%
October 202041%44%
February 202139%41%
March 202141%46%
April 202142%42%
June 202141%43%
August 202135%52%
October 202140%48%
February 202240%46%
April 202239%51%
June 202231%59%
August 202236%52%
October 202237%50%
December 202239%46%
February 202335%51%
April 202337%50%
June 202338%49%
August 202333%55%
October 202337%50%
December 202338%49%
February 202444%44%
April 202443%45%

Views of Texas economy ("Compared to a year ago, would you say that the Texas economy is a lot better off, somewhat better off, about the same, somewhat worse off, or a lot worse off?")

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categoryTotal
A lot better off6%
Somewhat better off15%
About the same40%
Somewhat worse off24%
A lot worse off11%
Don't know4%

Views of Joe Biden and Donald Trump

2024 is a presidential election year, with a very high likelihood that the top of the ballot will be a rematch between the candidates in 2020.

Joe Biden Job approval

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categoryTotal
Approve strongly16%
Approve somewhat22%
Neither approve nor disapprove11%
Disapprove somewhat7%
Disapprove strongly43%
Don't know1%

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Approve strongly33%5%3%
Approve somewhat42%11%4%
Neither approve nor disapprove16%14%4%
Disapprove somewhat5%7%8%
Disapprove strongly4%63%80%
Don't know1%0%1%

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CategoryLean DemocratNot very strong DemocratStrong Democrat
Approve strongly14%16%51%
Approve somewhat56%42%35%
Neither approve nor disapprove16%25%11%
Disapprove somewhat9%8%2%
Disapprove strongly5%8%0%
Don't know0%1%1%

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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%
December 202338%54%8%
February 202442%50%8%
April 202443%51%6%

(More job approval trend data)

Donald Trump post-presidential favorability

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categoryApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 201746%44%11%
June 201743%51%7%
October 201745%50%6%
February 201846%46%8%
June 201847%44%8%
October 201848%45%6%
February 201949%45%6%
June 201952%44%5%
October 201947%48%5%
February 202045%48%7%
April 202049%45%6%
June 202046%48%6%
October 202049%46%4%

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't know
February 201781%10%8%
June 201780%13%7%
October 201778%15%7%
February 201883%11%5%
June 201887%7%6%
October 201888%7%4%
February 201988%8%5%
June 201988%8%5%
October 201988%8%5%
February 202087%9%4%
April 202090%7%3%
June 202086%8%6%
October 202090%8%2%

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