Greg Abbott Is as Popular as Donald Trump in Texas

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott is as popular a figure in statewide politics as former President Donald Trump, according to a recent poll.

Abbott has become a central figure among the Republican Party in recent months due to his adversarial response to the federal government and Biden administration based on policy and relative inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border. The longtime governor first drew widespread attention and criticism from Democrats when he began bussing migrants to liberal “sanctuary” cities like New York City and Chicago, which had offered to take them in.

Trump, the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, made immigration and a border wall a major issue during his initial campaign in 2016. He has expressed opposition to a newly introduced $118 billion border bill in the U.S. Senate, calling it “horrendous” and “a death wish for the Republican Party” if approved. Some Republicans in Congress do not support it for reasons including supposed large numbers of migrants being let in daily.

A poll of 1,500 YouGov respondents conducted by The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston between January 11 and 24 found that Abbott and Trump both have a 48 percent approval rating in the Lone Star State.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (L) and former President Donald Trump in Edinburg, Texas, on November 19, 2023. A poll has found Abbott and Trump share a 48 percent approval in Texas.

Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images

Abbott was found “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” by 27 and 21 percent of respondents, respectively, and found “very unfavorable” by 39 percent. Trump was found very favorable and somewhat favorable by 33 and 15 percent, respectively, and very unfavorable by 44 percent of respondents.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz (46 percent), Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (44 percent), independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (43 percent) and President Joe Biden (39 percent) followed in terms of favorability.

More than nine out of 10 Trump voters support Abbott’s border-related policies, including 92 percent who spend $3 billion of statewide tax dollars annually on border security in addition to 93 percent approving of empowering Texas law enforcement to arrest undocumented immigrants.

A Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey conducted exclusively for Newsweek found that 50 percent of eligible voters in Texas said they would trust Trump to secure the southern border, compared to 25 percent who trust his likely 2024 Democratic opponent.

Even 27 percent of Biden supporters expressed support for Abbott’s allocation of financial resources to border security, and another 20 percent of Biden supporters approve of arresting undocumented immigrants.

Abbott’s efforts to protect his state border with razor wire were recently thwarted somewhat by the Supreme Court, which, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that Border Patrol agents could remove such barriers, even though Texas soldiers can continue to place them in well-traversed areas like Eagle Pass. He has vowed to continue to fight in the courts.