Half of Texas voters believe the impeachment of Ken Paxton was justified, poll finds

The attorney general’s fellow Republicans were about evenly split in their approval and disapproval, the University of Texas poll determined.


Ken Paxton Impeachment Press Conference
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton makes a statement at his office in Austin, Texas, Friday, May 26, 2023.

A new poll shows half of Texas voters — and a slight plurality of Republicans — believe the state House's impeachment of now-suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton was justified.

Released Tuesday, the survey from the University of Texas at Austin found that 50% of voters considered the impeachment justified and 17% did not. One-third said they did not know or had no opinion.

Among Paxton's fellow Republicans, 31% said the impeachment was justified and 30% said it was not. Thirty-nine percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

The House impeached Paxton late last month, alleging a yearslong pattern of misconduct and lawbreaking. The vote was 121-23, with almost as many Republicans as Democrats supporting impeachment.

The vote triggered Paxton's temporary suspension from office. Now the Senate is preparing to hold a trial on whether to permanently remove him from office.

The poll, conducted from June 2-12, also found that Paxton's approval rating has declined to its lowest point in the poll's history. Thirty percent of voters approved of his job performance, compared with 41% who disapproved. The split was 39-35 in April.

The latest poll also found that a clear majority of Texas voters have heard about Paxton's impeachment to some degree. Thirty percent said they have heard about it "a lot," 42% said they have heard about it "some" and the rest said they had heard about it "not very much" or not at all.

The poll included 1,200 registered voters who were interviewed using an online survey panel. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 2.83 percentage points.

Disclosure: University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/20/ken-paxton-impeach-justified-ut-poll/. The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.