KVUE/THPF Poll: How Texas Voters Feel About Gov. Abbott’s Abortion Act and Border Policy

This is the second part of a three-part poll analyzing what Texas voters think about the issues and politicians ahead of the November 2022 election.

AUSTIN, Texas — A new poll conducted as a collaborative effort between the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (THPF) and TEGNA Texas Station shows how voters in the Lone Star State are feeling about issues that have come into focus in recent months.

This is the second part of the Texas Decides poll conducted by THPF and KVUE along with their sister stations KHOU, KENS and WFAA. It is based on a poll of 1,172 likely Texas voters conducted between September 6 and September 15, 2022.

The report analyzes Texans’ attitudes and opinions regarding the direction in which the United States and Texas are moving, President Joe Biden and Gov. Greg Abbott’s handling of issues at the US-Mexico border, abortion legislation, and the impact of the elementary mass shooting of Uvalde on the public opinion of politicians, parties and institutions.

Part 1 of the survey was published on Sunday. It was about who Texans are likely to vote for in the November 2022 election. In the meantime, Part 3 is due out later this week.

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Here’s a look at the results of part 2 of the survey:

Direction of USA and Texas

The poll found that a majority of Texans believe the nation is moving in the wrong direction (73% to 27%) among likely voters. When asked if Texas is going in the right direction, a slim majority of voters believe it is not (53% vs. 47%).

The poll shows that Texans believe the state is going in the right direction (47%) more than they believe the nation as a whole is (27%). Also of note is that more Texans believe the US is going in the wrong direction (73%) than believe Texas is going in the wrong direction (53%).

Support and opposition to Texas border policy

The poll also asked likely Texas voters how much they support or oppose a half-dozen border security policies Texas has implemented under Gov. Abbott.

Policies requested included:

  1. Texas is building a wall on the state border with Mexico.
  2. The state of Texas and local law enforcement are arresting people illegally crossing the Mexico border.
  3. Texas sends National Guard soldiers to patrol the border with Mexico.
  4. Texas is sending Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers to patrol along the border with Mexico.
  5. Texas spends $1.5 billion on border security every year.
  6. Texas pays to bus asylum seekers to Chicago, New York City and Washington DC

The poll results showed that a majority of Texas voters support all of the policies. Here’s a look at the support levels each policy has:

A total of 54% of respondents also agreed that Texas spends $1.5 billion on border security each year.

On the other hand, between a fifth (22%) and a third (34%) of Texans oppose the six guidelines. Among Texas voters:

  • 34% are against building a border wall in Texas
  • 32% disagree with the state spending $1.5 billion annually on border security
  • 31% oppose Texas paying for sending asylum seekers out of the state
  • 28% oppose Texas stationing the Texas National Guard at the border
  • 27% oppose Texas sending DPS to patrol the border
  • 22% disapprove of Texas and local law enforcement arresting people crossing the border illegally

The poll also breaks down responses to these six policies by race and ethnicity, showing that an absolute majority of white voters support all six policies.

The results are mixed when looking at responses from Hispanic Texans.

A majority of Hispanic Texans support three policies: 53% support Texas sending DPS to patrol the border, 52% support using the Texas National Guard to patrol the border, and 50% support arresting those found illegally crossing the border Crossing the border by Texas state and local police.

A multitude of Hispanic Texans support two other policies: 45% support Texas, which spends $1.5 million each year on border security (40% oppose), and 42% support Texas, which pays to send asylum seekers out of state (39% are against).

A slim minority of Hispanic Texans oppose building a border wall in Texas (47% to 46%).

Among Black Texans, a majority supported a policy: 60% support Texas law enforcement arresting those who cross the border illegally.

A majority of Black Texans support two policies: 45% support deploying the Texan National Guard to patrol the border (37% oppose), and 45% support sending DPS to patrol the border (32% oppose).

A minority of Black Texans support the state spending $1.5 billion annually on border security (37% for, 41% against), building a border wall (33% for, 42% against), and for Texas to State pays for deportation of asylum seekers (29% for, 41% against).

Looking at six policies broken down by political affiliation, a majority of Republicans and Independents support the policies enacted by the governor.

Democratic support for the policy is stronger than Republican opposition to it, ranging from 18% (build a wall) to 35% (arrest illegal migrants crossing) of Texas Democrats.

Alongside the six policies, voters were asked what they thought of the president’s and governor’s handling of the border. Significantly more (56%) Texans support Abbott’s handling of the situation at the US-Mexico border than do Biden (34%).

More Texans (66%) disapprove of Biden’s handling of the border situation than Abbott’s (44%).

Abortion policy after the repeal of Roe v. calf

The poll also asked voters:

Abortion is now illegal in Texas except when the mother’s life or well-being is at risk. If you could, would you change Texas law to make it easier or harder for a woman to obtain an abortion, or would you leave the law as it is now?

Of likely voters in Texas, 11% said they would change the law to make it harder for women to get an abortion, 37% said they would leave it as is, and 52% said they would change the law to make it easier for a woman to get an abortion in Texas.

Looking at the issue based on the race and ethnicity of participating women, 79% of black women, 58% of Hispanic women, and 51% of white women would change the law to make it easier for women in Texas to have abortions.

How the Uvalde tragedy weighs on public political judgment

The poll also asked voters about the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Two teachers and 19 students were killed there on May 24, 2022 when a gunman armed with automatic weapons entered the school through an unlocked door.

Probable Texas voters were asked:

After the mass shooting in Uvalde in May 2022, would you say that your opinion of the following people and organizations is now more positive, less positive or has stayed the same?

Three political figures and three organizations were evaluated: Greg Abbott, Beto O’Rourke, John Cornyn, the Texas Democratic Party, the Texas Republican Party and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

In all cases, the proportion of likely voters in Texas who have a less favorable opinion of the political figure or organization following the Uvalde tragedy is greater than those with a more favorable opinion.

Significantly more Hispanic Texans (48% to 19%) view Abbott as less favorable following the Uvalde mass shooting. Meanwhile, 32% of Hispanic Texans view O’Rourke as less positive, compared to 37% who view him as more positive following the tragedy.

View all results from Part 2 of the Texas Decides poll here.

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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/politics/vote-texas/texas-hispanic-policy-foundation-voters-abortion-border-policies-uvalde/269-9598dda6-4af8-4439-9199-eafd4530dd2c KVUE/THPF Poll: How Texas Voters Feel About Gov. Abbott’s Abortion Act and Border Policy

Laura Coffey

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