UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

UT Tyler Releases November Poll

November 18, 2019

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Senior Director of Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler

In the first post-Beto Texas statewide survey of the Democratic field, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a commanding lead with 28 percent support. His closest rivals are Senators Bernie Sanders (19 percent) and Elizabeth Warren (18 percent). Eleven percent of Texas Democrats remain undecided. This survey gives an early look at the Democratic primary in Texas after 20 percent of the voters were without their leading candidate at the start of the month.

Biden is ahead among key demographic groups within the Democratic party. Significantly, he leads among women (both white and African American) by double-digits, older voters (e.g. 45-plus), and African Americans. His popularity among black Democrats may be explained in part by their chief consideration for choosing a nominee: someone who will continue the agenda of Barack Obama. That said, Senator Sanders leads Biden by 20 percent among Latino Democrats and 27 percent among voters between the ages of 18 and 29 years.

The percentages above indicate the change in candidate support among self-identified Democrats in each of the UT Tyler surveys that have occurred following previous candidate debates. These trends in candidate support also look similar if we include independents that lean towards the Democratic Party. The only exception with the more inclusive definition of the electorate in the March primary is that support for Senator Sanders fades and support for Senator Warren increases slightly.


The vast majority of Texas Democrats remain undecided on the U.S. senate primary. No candidate is winning double-digit support nor leading outside of the margin of error. Nonetheless, our results reveal stark racial contours among the supporters of the declared candidates. MJ Hegar (a white woman) is leading by 5 percent among white voters (followed by former U.S. Representative Chris Bell – a white man). Meanwhile, Texas state senator Royce West, a black man, is leading among black voters by 12 percent. Finally, Latina organizer and activist Cristina Ramirez is ahead with Latino Democrats by 19 percent.


President Donald Trump’s job approval is up from our last survey in September. It now stands at 43 percent approval among all registered Texans. His disapproval stands at 49 percent with 8 percent not sure. When asked to consider what they currently know, whether President Trump should or should not be impeached, 45 percent support impeachment and 47 percent do not. Eight percent of respondents were not sure. Clearly, these results indicate an ambivalence among Texans on the question of impeachment.


One year out from the 2020 election, President Trump is leading all Democrats in head to head contests. He beats Joe Biden (+5), Bernie Sanders (+4) and Elizabeth Warren (+11). Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and Julian Castro also trail Trump by double-digits. Interestingly, Trump’s surging support in head to heads since September appears to be coming from previously undecided respondents.


On gun issues, a plurality of Texans (42 percent) now disapprove of a mandatory buyback program to turn in all assault weapons for payment (37 percent approve). This is a significant shift from our September survey, which found a near majority approval for such a program. Our November results indicate that both Republicans and Independents have changed their minds. For instance, 33 percent of Texas Republicans approved of a mandatory buyback in September, that number now stands at 17 percent. Overall, 21 percent of Texans are still ambivalent about the issue.


The UT Tyler-Texas Opinion Survey reflects a statewide random sample of 1,093 registered voters during the 10 days between Nov. 5 and Nov. 14. The mixed mode sample includes 397 registered voters who took the survey by phone and 696 registered voters that were randomly selected from a panel of registered voters that have opted-in to take surveys through a company called Dynata. The online and phone surveys were conducted in English and Spanish.

The data were weighted to be representative of the Texas register voter population. Iterative weighting was used to balance sample demographics to the state population parameters. The sample is balanced to match parameters for gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education using an iterated process known as raking. These parameters were derived from 2018 Current Population Survey to reflect Texas’s electorate. The use of these weights in statistical analysis ensures that the characteristics of the sample closely reflect the characteristics of registered voters in Texas.

In this poll, the sampling error for 1,093 registered voters in Texas is +/- 2.96 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence interval. The survey’s design asked additional questions to 427 registered voters who identify with the Democratic Party as members or independents that lean towards the party (margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent).

For more information, visit uttyler.edu/politicalscience/pollingcenter.

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered to nearly 10,000 students. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News and World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.