Should Donald Trump be allowed to hold office again? Texas voters are split.

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Donald Trump

FILE – In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump gestures to the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C. Former President Donald Trump repeated false claims that the election was stolen from him 10 times during interviews this week on Fox News Channel, Newsmax and One America News Networks. The claims were unprompted but also unchallenged in each case. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

AUSTIN (Texas Tribune) — Texas voters are almost evenly split on the question of whether Donald Trump should be allowed to mount a comeback, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Asked whether “Trump took actions as president that justify preventing him from holding future elected office,” 45% said he did and 48% said he did not. Not surprisingly, 84% of voters who identified themselves as Democrats say he did, and 81% of Republican voters say he didn’t. Among independent voters, 38% said barring Trump would be justified, and 47% said it would not be justified.

“Almost all of the Democrats say he should be barred, along with 13% of Republicans,” said Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

A similar question in the February 2020 UT/TT Poll, taken after Trump’s first impeachment, produced similar results. Asked whether “Donald Trump has taken actions while president that justify his removal from office before the end of his term,” 43% of Texas voters said yes and 46% said no. Then, as now, partisan differences were stark: 80% of Democrats said yes, and 84% of Republicans said no.

“These numbers suggest he’s going to remain influential among these Republican voters,” said Jim Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin. “Whether you like Donald Trump or not, these numbers show why Republicans are hanging on his every word.”

Trump is viewed about as favorably now in the state as he was in the UT/TT Poll in October 2020, right before the election: 46% of Texas voters view him favorably and 46% have an unfavorable opinion of the former president. In October, his favorable/unfavorable numbers were 49%-46%. And Trump remains in better light than he did right before his election four years ago. In an October 2016 UT/TT Poll, 31% of Texans had a positive opinion of him while 58% had a negative one.

“He has completely consolidated his Republican base in Texas,” Shaw said.

The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 12-18 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points. Numbers in charts might not add up to 100% because of rounding.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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April 22 2021 09:00 am