TEXAS, USA — Texas passed a major milestone in September 2022, when the U.S. Census Bureau said the state had more Hispanic residents than white residents.
According to the Bureau’s American Community Survey, Hispanic Texans now make up 40.2% of the state’s population, while white Texans comprise 39.4%.
This demographic shift has been decades in the making -- and has the potential to transform the state’s politics in the future.
The question now is how long that might take.
We surveyed hundreds of likely Texas Hispanic voters for the third and final installment of our "Texas Decides" poll -- a joint effort between the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (THPF) and TEGNA Texas stations WFAA, KHOU, KENS and KVUE -- in hopes of finding out.
How do likely Texas Hispanic voters intend to vote in the November 2022 elections?
Most notably, the survey found that 51% of likely Texas Hispanic voters intend to vote for Democrat Beto O’Rourke in the race for Governor. Meanwhile, 39% said they will vote for Republican Governor Greg Abbott, 3% said they will support Libertarian Mark Tippetts and 2% said they’ll back the Green Party’s Delilah Barrios. 5% remain undecided.
O’Rourke’s lead swells even more among Hispanic women, where his lead over Abbott expands into a 54% to 33% lead. That margin is much closer, however, with Hispanic men, where it settles in at a 48% to 45% count.
In terms of generations, O’Rourke holds a full two-to-one advantage over Abbott when it comes to Generation Z and Millennial Hispanics, with polls putting O'Rourke at 56% to Abbott's 28%. The survey also found that those two age groups combined are expected to make up at least two-fifths of Texas Hispanic voters this fall.
Conversely, Abbott leads among likely Texas Hispanic voters who fit into the Baby Boomer and Silent Generation demographics, besting O'Rourke 48% to 45%. The results are slightly reversed when looked at through the lens of Generation X members, with whom O'Rourke holds a 50% to 47% lead.
How do likely Texas Hispanic voters feel about Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott's border policies?
Our survey also asked likely Texas Hispanic voters about six border policies implemented by Gov. Abbott throughout his time in office.
Here's where their support lies in terms of those policies, specifically:
54% support sending the Texas Department of Public Safety to patrol the border; 31% oppose.
53% support the arrest of people who cross the border illegally; 29% oppose.
52% support the state deploying the Texas National Guard to patrol the border; 34% oppose.
45% support the state spending $1.5 billion every year on border security; 39% oppose.
44% support the state paying to send asylum seekers by bus to Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C.; 38% oppose.
48% support Texas building a border wall; 45% oppose.
How do likely Hispanic Texas voters feel about President Biden's role in border issues?
40% likely Texas Hispanic voters approve of the way President Joe Biden is handling the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, while 46% said they approve of the way Governor Abbott is handling it.
How do likely Hispanic Texas voters feel about abortion issues?
Finally, in terms of abortion laws in our state, 57% of likely Texas Hispanic voters said they would change current law to make it easier for a woman to obtain an abortion in Texas. 12% said would make it harder, and 31% would leave the law as is.
Meanwhile, 59% of Hispanic women -- specifically -- would modify Texas law to make it easier to obtain an abortion.
What was the methodology for this poll?
This third report for "Texas Decides" surveyed 468 likely Texas Hispanic voters as part of a broader statewide survey that was featured in our first two reports, "Texas Decides: Part 1" and "Texas Decides: Part 2".
The survey took place between September 6, 2022 and September 15, 2022. This third part has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.
The report reviewed vote intention for the November 2022 Texas elections.
The election will be held November 8. Early voting starts October 24.
Read the entirety of Part 3's report here or below: