Flanked by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Governor Greg Abbott issued an indignation-filled announcement that he would be deploying 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, per the Texas Tribune, to “provide assistance at temporary holding facilities” as the humanitarian situation at the border continues to receive national and international attention.
While there are real public policy and human rights issues to be addressed here, the action does not take place in a political vacuum, particularly when it comes to partisan patterns in public opinion related to immigration, border security, and, given the Big Three’s sharp criticism of both, of the federal government in general and Congress in particular.
We wrote earlier this week about the very real possibility that despite a legislative session defined by a concerted effort to focus on "the big issues," it would be difficult for statewide leaders to provide their incumbent members with much insulation from the chaotic national political environment based on legislative acheivements. The public unveiling of another National Guard deployment accompanied by sharp criticism of a national government that includes a Republican President and Senate majority hedges bets on those legislative achievements -- and nods heavily toward the Republican primaries in March 2020.
Below is a quick round-up of some relevant polling data from the June 2019 UT/Texas Tribune Poll.
|Gun control/gun violence||5%|
|Gun control/gun violence||6%||2%||4%|
|Neither approve nor disapprove||19%|
|Neither approve nor disapprove||21%||21%||17%|
|Neither approve nor disapprove||5%|
|Neither approve nor disapprove||3%||6%||6%|