The unfavorable ratings for both major presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are currently situated at record levels. Many supporters of each candidate don’t consider the other trustworthy or simply have a strong personal dislike for that other individual.
That animus is strong enough in Texas that a poll released on Tuesday shows that a majority of those supporting Trump believe that the state should secede from the United States if Clinton wins.
Public Policy Polling (PPP) announced their results, showing that Trump leads by just six points in Texas in their most recent poll. The Lone Star State has traditionally been a strong state for Republicans in presidential elections, with Jimmy Carter being the last Democrat to win the state’s valuable cache of electoral votes. That event took place in 1976.
The firm has an established reputation in political circles for having results that favor Democrats, which to critics means that a skewed interpretation of the actual numbers may taint the credibility of those polls. This particular PPP poll interviewed 944 likely voters in the state from August 12-14.
In announcing the results, PPP soon discovered that it was the concept of seceding from the United States that garnered much of the attention for this particular poll. Among all those questioned, 26 percent of the respondents indicated that Texas should secede, regardless of who is in the White House.
Among Trump supporters, that number jumps drastically to 60 percent if Clinton is elected. In a Trump presidency, 37 percent would still choose this option, if available. Not surprisingly, Trump is a strong favorite among those who support secession with a 72-20 advantage for the Republican nominee.
When other polls earlier this month showed a drop in Trump support due to a series of controversial remarks, the candidate stated that a loss in November would be the result of the election being “rigged.”
Those Texas voters who support Trump are passionate enough about his candidacy to agree with such a statement. The PPP poll showed that 71 percent of his supporters believe that a Trump loss will be due to such rigging. In addition, just 19 percent expressed the belief that a Clinton win will be the result of getting more votes.
The basis for this belief, according to 40 percent of those Trump supporters responding, is the idea that the defunct organization, ACORN, will aid this rigging on her behalf. Such misconceptions are similar when also noting that 35 percent of those polled believe that President Obama founded ISIS.
The latter claim, which also included Clinton, was pushed by Trump himself for more than a day. After severe backlash, Trump claimed that he was simply being sarcastic.
Such beliefs about secession in the state are nothing new, dating back to 1861. That’s when the state actually did secede as the Civil War was getting underway. Despite secession being ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 1869, the subject has been periodically brought up. The reason usually stems from an unpopular government directive or law.
Over the past quarter-century, different organizations like the Republic of Texas and the Texas Nationalist Movement have emerged to push for secession. In 2009, the state’s then-governor, Rick Perry, clarified that he was joking when he hinted at supporting such a measure.
Just within the past few months, the idea once again resurfaced in the wake of the Brexit vote that will see the United Kingdom leave the European Union. In an attempt to mirror that push, supporters of this option used social media channels to promote the hashtag #Texit.