DALLAS FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) -- Real Estate Mogul and Republican Presidential nominee Donald J Trump has surged to a twelve point lead in Texas over Former Secretary of State and Democrat nominee, Hillary R. Clinton in the latest KTVT CBS 11 Dixie Strategies Poll.
If the presidential election were held today, about 52 percent of likely general election voters said they would vote for Trump while just over 39 percent said they would vote for Clinton. This marks the first time Trump has polled over 50 percent in Texas and casts doubt on any Democratic victory on November 8.
Facebook Live Discussion With CBS 11's
Jack Fink & Pollster Brian Graham of Dixie Strategies
With Clinton still polling in the upper 30's as she has in previous polls much of Trump's rise in the polls has come from independents and undecided voters.
Speaking to CBS 11's Jack Fink on Facebook Live Tuesday afternoon, pollster Brian Graham of Dixie Strategies said, "People have now decided... and it appears that Donald Trump has captured most of those undecided voters as we have gotten closer [to the election]."
While the poll was conducted -- at the same time -- FBI Director James Comey announced that new evidence had come to light relevant to the probe of Hillary Clinton's private email server. The poll was conducted Thursday through Saturday. The news regarding the FBI re-opening the investigation broke on Friday.
Graham was asked if he thinks the FBI's renewed scrutiny of Clinton could sway voters. "With independent voters, I think that's going to affect some of them," said Graham. "And remember, in this race, a lot of states are very, very close so one or two percentage points can make an election -- in particular states such as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio," he continued.
Favorable / Unfavorable
Trump's rise in the Texas poll coincides with an increase in his combined very favorable or somewhat favorable rating to 52 percent (up from 37 percent in August) and a decrease in his combined somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable rating to 45 percent (down from 60 percent in August). This means that for the first time, his favorable rating is higher than his unfavorable rating.
Clinton's combined very favorable or somewhat favorable rating in the poll was 39 percent (up from 31 percent in August). Her combined somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable rating was 58 percent (down from 66 percent in August).
Graham says Trump is doing better with Hispanics and African Americans despite some of his controversial comments. "Perhaps it's his bold statements; perhaps it's that he is 'not the establishment;' perhaps it's that he's something different, " said Graham. "Some Republicans have won a majority of Hispanic votes in Texas.... now he's not there, but he's doing decent in the state of Texas with Hispanics compared to how his numbers look nationwide," Graham continued.
Respondents were asked which issues have the biggest impact on their vote. According to the results, the Supreme Court (29 percent); the Economy and Jobs (22 percent); and Government Spending and Taxes (14 percent) rounded out the top three issues. Compared to the state results, even more DFW respondents rated The Supreme Court (32 percent) and Economy and Jobs (25 percent) as the biggest issues. See chart below.
Senator Ted Cruz
Respondents were asked about their opinion of Republican Senator Ted Cruz. Forty-five percent said they have a very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of Cruz. That's up from 35 percent back on August 11 after his widely panned speech at the Republican National Convention where he refused to openly endorse Trump.
Fifty-one percent of respondents still said they have a somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable view of Cruz but that is down from 61 percent back on August 11.
President Barack Obama
Respondents were asked about their opinion of President Obama as well. Forty-one percent described their opinions as favorable or somewhat favorable while 57 percent had a somewhat unfavorable to very unfavorable opinion of the President.
Governor Greg Abbott
On Governor Abbott when people were asked to describe their opinion, 60 percent said very favorable to somewhat favorable. Thirty-three percent had a somewhat unfavorable to very unfavorable view of the Governor.
When asked whom they would vote for if the election were held today, respondents in the DFW area leaned a bit more towards Clinton but Trump still leads by 5 percent. Again, independents and undecided voters appear to be moving toward one of the major party candidates. Back in August, when respondents were asked for whom they would vote, 46 percent said Trump, 38 percent said Clinton and 16 percent were either undecided or voting for a candidate other than Clinton or Trump.
When asked about their opinion of Trump, DFW respondents tended to look at him less favorably than respondents in the state of Texas with 48 percent viewing Trump as very favorable or somewhat favorable. That's a drop of about 5 percent from back in August when Trump was polling at 43 percent very favorable or somewhat favorable. Fifty-two percent of respondents in the current poll view him as somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable. That's just about 2 percent higher than the result in August when 50 percent of respondents viewed Trump as somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable.
When asked their opinion of Clinton, 41 percent of respondents in DFW viewed her as very favorable or somewhat favorable. That's an almost ten-point increase from the August poll at 32 percent. Fifty-seven percent viewed her as somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable -- a decrease of about 9 points from the August result when that number stood at 66 percent.
When asked their opinion of Cruz, 43 percent of respondents in DFW viewed him as very favorable or somewhat favorable. Fifty-five percent viewed him as somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable.
The KTVT-CBS 11/Dixie Strategies Poll was conducted on October 27 –29, 2016 and includes the viewpoints of 980 likely voters across Texas who were contacted and surveyed over the phone. The results include 383 Republicans, 304 Democrats and 293 others. It has a 3.13 percent margin of error.
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