July 3rd, 2024 9 Minute Read Poll by Jesse Arm

Testing Texas Survey Analysis of Likely Lone Star State Voters on Election 2024 and Transgender Issues

Between June 25th and 27th of 2024, the Manhattan Institute polled a representative sample of 600 likely voters in Texas on their feelings about elected leaders, the 2024 election, and various policy issues related to transgenderism.

The survey was conducted based on a sample drawn from the Texas state voter file, then weighted to match the population on gender, age, college education, partisanship, race, and 2020 vote. Responses were collected using mixed methods, including live landline calls (18%), live cell calls (32%), and SMS-to-web (50%). The poll’s margin of error is 4%.

The results suggest that while former President Trump is a heavy favorite to win the Lone Star State in his third consecutive presidential election, the state’s race for U.S. Senate is within the margin of error—with incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz holding only a narrow lead over his challenger, Rep. Collin Allred.

Beyond the political horse race, there is broad consensus among Texans on policy debates playing out regarding pediatric gender medicine. Vast majorities of likely voters in the state believe restrictions should be placed on the ability of minors to consent to gender affirmation surgery, puberty blockers, and changing preferred pronouns in school absent parental notification. Texas voters indicate they would like to see lawmakers in their state and around the country embrace a tougher approach on this issue.

Full Results Available: Toplines, Crosstabs, Slide Deck

Political Picture

Former President Trump holds a 9-point lead in Texas, significantly outpacing the 5.5-point margin of victory he achieved there in 2020. He leads President Biden by 45% to 36%, with independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr pulling in 7% of the vote (Figure 1). RFK Jr. takes evenly from Trump and Biden 2020 voters. In a head-to-head race with no third-party candidates listed, Trump’s lead grows to 11 points.

Figure 1

In Texas’s 2024 race for the U.S. Senate, the two-term incumbent Ted Cruz leads Congressman Collin Allred by 46% to 43%. Cruz leads decisively with men (+17) but lags behind with women (-11). Allred also leads Cruz with independent voters, 43% to 35% (Figure 2).

Figure 2

Cruz may find himself in this tight race partially because of Allred’s favorability. The House member from Dallas County holds a net favorability of +12, compared to -9 for the Senator. Cruz also struggles with independents, among whom he has a net favorability of -24 (Figure 3).

Figure 3

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However, 45% of all likely voters—and 54% of GOP likely voters—do not know who Allred is or report no impression of him whatsoever, positive or negative. Thus it remains entirely possible for Republicans to define Allred negatively between now and election day, change the tenor of this race, and expand their lead to approach something comparable to Trump’s margin.

Transgender Issues

On balance, likely voters in Texas take a hard line on public policy issues related to transgenderism. On the matter of whether transgender people convicted of crimes should be incarcerated in prisons with people of the gender that matches their sex at birth or the gender they currently choose to identify with, 58% opt for the former and only 25% the latter. Pluralities of voters in every demographic group tested, apart from Democrats and Biden supporters, agree that prison assignments for convicted criminals should match their birth sex (Figure 4).

Figure 4

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When it comes to sports, the discrepancy is even more drastic. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of likely voters believe that transgender athletes should play on sports teams of the gender that matches their sex at birth. Only 13% said they should play on teams that match the gender they currently choose to identify with. The belief that athletes should play sports on teams of the gender that match their sex assigned at birth is shared across every demographic group tested, including 18–29-year-olds and Democrats (Figure 5).

Figure 5

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There is a similar margin of support for requiring parental notification if a child requests to use different gender pronouns while at school. Again, all demographics support this requirement, except for Democrats and Biden voters, who are split evenly down the middle (Figure 6).

Figure 6

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Nearly seven in ten likely Texas voters say that children should not be allowed to receive medical treatments to move towards transitioning genders before the age of 18. Only 16% feel minors should be allowed to receive these treatments. Once again, majorities of nearly all demographic groups agree on this sentiment. Even a plurality of Biden supporters agree, and Democrats are split evenly on the question (Figure 7).

Figure 7

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A majority of Texans think that lawmakers around the country should be doing more to prevent minors from receiving medical treatments to move toward transitioning genders (51%) (Figure 8). Similar numbers (52%) say the same of Texas lawmakers (Figure 9).

Figure 8

Figure 9

In some of the starkest numbers from the poll, vast majorities of likely Texas voters believe that minors are not old enough to consent to puberty blocking treatments (76%—only 10% disagree) or gender affirmation surgery (82%—only 7% disagree) (Figures 10 and 11). There is broad—cross-party and cross-demographic—consensus on these points.

Figure 10

Figure 11

Most Texans (53%) say that policymakers who are passing laws aimed at limiting access to puberty blockers and transition surgeries for children, requiring that parents be notified if their child wishes to identify as trans in school, and limiting what public primary schools can teach about transgenderism are motivated primarily by a desire to protect children rather than by anti-trans bigotry (the view of 32%) (Figure 12).

Figure 12

Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) likely Texas voters believe that the age at which a person is old enough to decide to transition genders should be 18 or above, with an additional 11% saying never. Only 1% think this should happen at age 11 or younger, and just 11% believe it should happen at 16 or younger (Figure 13). Only 8% of Democrats think that permission should start at or below the age of 13.

Figure 13

There is majority support (55%) for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s formal opinion that performing certain “sex-change” procedures on children, and prescribing puberty-blockers to them, is “child abuse” under Texas law, with 35% opposed (Figure 14).

Figure 14

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Texas voters also marginally say they are more likely to back a candidate who has acted against doctors and hospitals that perform such procedures on minors, with 44% more likely and 36% less likely. This split also applies amongst the key swing group of independents (40% to 34%) (Figure 15). A majority feel doctors doing this under Medicaid should be prosecuted(52%), with 30% feeling as though that is a step too far (Figure 16).

Figure 15

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Figure 16

Photo: DESKCUBE / iStock / Getty Images Plus


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