AUSTIN (KXAN) — Donald Trump enjoys a wide lead over his Republican primary challengers in a new Texas poll, despite his legal challenges.
The former president is the first choice candidate for 62% of Republican voters in the state, according to the poll by the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project.
No other Republican candidate has more than 15% support across the state. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis comes in second, at 13%, ahead of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 7%.
Vivek Ramaswamy and former vice president Mike Pence round out the top five, at 3% each.
The poll of 568 registered voters who say they will vote in the Republican primary was conducted between Oct. 5 and Oct. 17.
More than a third of the poll respondents said they would “definitely not” support Trump in the Republican primary, while 42% said they wouldn’t support Pence.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was most underwater though, with 46% of Republican voters in Texas saying they would not support him in the primary.
How do the Republican candidates fare against Biden?
The poll asked 1,200 registered voters in Texas how they would vote if several of the Republican candidates were the nominee against President Joe Biden.
Trump would perform best against the incumbent president in Texas, according to the poll, with an 8 percentage point margin: 45% said they would vote for Trump, while 37% would vote for Biden.
DeSantis was the only other Republican candidate to garner more support than Biden: 39% to 38%. The incumbent president had a margin of 1 percentage point over South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, 2 points over Haley, 3 points over Ramaswamy and 7 points over Pence.
Biden disapproval increasing in Texas
The president’s approval rating in Texas has slumped since the 2022 midterm elections. A poll in December 2022 found Biden’s approval rating in the state at -8 percentage points. That decreased to -16 points in the new poll.
Of the 1,200 poll respondents, 37% said they approved of the job Biden was doing as president, while 53% disapproved. It’s the largest disapproval margin since June 2022, when Biden’s rating was -20 points.
A vast majority of respondents also said Biden is too old to be president in 2025, with 69% agreeing with that statement. Just 22% said they didn’t think Biden was too old to be reelected. He would be 82 years old on inauguration day.
Trump, who would be 78 on inauguration day, fares better when voters are posed that question. Just 37% of respondents said he is too old to be president in 2025, while 54% said he isn’t too old.
The former president also does better when voters are asked about presidential characteristics, such as competency, knowledge and being a strong leader.
With Biden and Trump both the clear front runners in their parties, a rematch of the 2020 election isn’t out of the question, a prospect that doesn’t excite voters.
Enthusiasm for voting has dropped from four years ago. In October 2019, 50% of voters in Texas said they were “extremely enthusiastic” to vote in the presidential election. That figure has dropped to 39% this year.
Likewise, those who say they are not too enthusiastic or not at all enthusiastic has increased from 12% in 2019 to 21% this year.