Tags: Immigration | Texas | poll | immigration | Wendy Davis

Texas Poll: Immigration Most Pressing Issue Facing State

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Monday, 16 Jun 2014 01:09 PM

Texans say immigration and border security issues rank as the two most important issues facing their state, but federal spending and the economy are the nation's biggest problems, according to a new poll.

"The prominence of immigration and border security are almost entirely driven by Republican attitudes," Jim Henson, co-director of the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll explained in The Texas Tribune on Monday. "Fifty-one percent of Republicans cite immigration or border security, up 12 points from February."

Political affiliations drove most of the poll of 1,200 voters, taken between May 30 and June 8.

Special: Powerful New Movie Reveals Alarming Threats on U.S. Border – See Trailer Here.

For example, 19 percent of Texas Republicans said public corruption and leadership are the most important problem facing the country, since a Democratic administration is in charge. But only 8 percent of Democrats felt the same way, ranking the economy and income inequality as their top issues.

However, on the state level, where a Republican administration is in charge, 20 percent of Democrats said Texas' main problem is corruption, while only 2 percent of Republicans felt that same way.

Meanwhile, most of the voters surveyed said Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, the state's attorney general, would perform a better job on a list of issues than would the Democratic contender, state lawmaker Wendy Davis. But 23 percent to 26 percent are still undecided on which candidate would do better.

Their responses were not surprising, as Abbott is maintaining a double-digit lead over Davis in most of polls that have been taken in the gubernatorial race.

Wendy Davis "has to find a couple of issues and own them," said Daron Shaw, a professor of government at UT-Austin and the co-director of the poll. "The problem is that she starts off behind on every one of them. Campaigns are as much about position control as anything."

Abbott scored higher than Davis on the economy, where 49 percent of voters said he'd do better, and on taxes, where they picked Abbott by a 19-point margin.

Davis came closer on education, but was still behind Abbot by 41 to 36 percent on public education. He also got a 7-point advantage on higher education.

"You’ve got people responding primarily through a partisan lens rather than a policy lens," Henson said. "Davis does slightly better on the education issues. And there are people who remain skeptical of the Democrats on taxes and the budget. There are no obvious winners here for Wendy Davis."

Special: Powerful New Movie Reveals Alarming Threats on U.S. Border – See Trailer Here.

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