The 2016 Presidential Election is less than five months away and Texans do not seem happy with the two major candidate choices.
A poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Politics project found both the Republican and Democratic presumptive nominees remain very unpopular among voters in the state.
Unlike most national polls, Donald Trump is ahead in Texas with an eight point lead over Hillary Clinton.
For a Republican in such a reliably red state, political consultant David Butts called Trump’s single-digit lead “underwhelming.”
“A majority of Texans probably feel that there is not a good choice in this race,” Butts said
The Director of the Texas Politics Project, Jim Henson said, anything less than an eight point lead and, “I would have thought this is looking a little closer than it should,” Henson said, “but it is probably in the lower end of the range than I thought I was going to see.”
More than half of people polled in the state have an unfavorable opinion of Trump and Clinton, with Clinton in the lead on the negative side with 59 percent, compared to Trump’s unfavorable rating at 56 percent.
Henson said, “Her negatives among Republicans—men, women—are just sky high.” So high he does think Clinton can carry Texas in the general election, however, more of Clinton’s supporters actually want her to get elected.
The poll found the majority of Trump supporters plan to vote Republican, not because they want Trump to be President but because they want to block Clinton from the White House.
Among people who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Texas primary, only 40 percent cast their vote for Clinton in the poll.
“44 percent said they would probably vote for someone else, an unnamed someone else,” Henson said, “44 is a big number.”
Sanders reluctance to withdraw from the race and throw his support in behind Clinton “is almost certainly having a negative impact on Democrat’s willingness to commit to Clinton,” said Henson.
He expects to see more people vote for a third-party candidate in the November Election but he also thinks many of Sanders’ supporters will come around.
Butts agreed, “Most of them will, if for no other reason than in fear of Trump.”
On the Republican side, about 70 percent of Ted Cruz supporters said they plan to vote for Trump.
Henson said, “It’s a very easy step to go from Cruz—who made his name criticizing the party, the system—to Trump who is doing very much the same thing.”
There are some ideological differences, Henson said, “but this make American great again, you know Trump is not that far off from what Cruz was offering the electorate as well.”
In contrast to another national trend, Trump also leads Clinton among women voters in the state.
According to the poll, Trump leads Clinton by 14 points among men, 3 three points among women with 20 percent of women saying they would vote for somebody else.
“I think Hillary Clinton’s problem in Texas is mainly Texas, frankly,” Henson said there are too many Republicans and the state is too conservative for Clinton to turn Texas blue.
According to Henson, Trump has enough of a cushion in Texas that it’s unlikely to see Texas go the other way in the Presidential Election.
Henson said, “I think it’s unlikely that Texas will wind up being one of those states where we see a lot of action.”