In an election year marked by economic disruption, the unprecedented direction of state resources and public attention to the Texas-Mexico border, and signs of moving on from the fight against COVID-19, Texans’ legendary bullishness about the future of the state has turned bearish, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll.
Amidst increasing economic worries, the population growth that has become a frequent bragging point for political leaders and boosters is now viewed negatively or with uncertainty by a majority of Texas voters. Among the large majority of Texans who reported being aware of the state’s significant population growth in recent years, only 34% viewed that growth as good for Texas, while 40% said that it has been bad for the state and more than a quarter of Texas voters offered no opinion — positive or negative. The share viewing the impact of population growth positively was the lowest from among four results going back to June 2019, and the first time that those viewing the state’s growth negatively outnumbered those viewing it positively.
These pessimistic views of the state’s population growth accompany other gloomy assessments: 43% say that their family’s economic situation is worse compared to last year (the most Texans saying this in 42 surveys going back to 2009), while among the nearly 9 in 10 voters who have noticed rising prices, 55% say that those price increases have had a major impact on their current household finances. All of these factors converge in the finding that 51% of Texans say the state is on the wrong track, and 66% say that the country is headed in the same, wrong direction.
Broad economic concerns notwithstanding, the border security and immigration issues receiving ever-increasing amounts of attention and resources from the state’s Republican leadership continue to loom large on the public opinion landscape. Texans continue to view immigration and border security as the state’s top priority (20% border security; 14% immigration), driven primarily by the views of Republican voters – among whom 37% choose border security and 24% choose immigration as the most important problem facing the state. As the state spends approximately $4 billion on border security in this biennium, a massive increase over previous border security spending, the survey finds Texans split on these expenditures. The plurality, 32%, say the state spends too little (again driven by Republicans, among whom 51% say the state is still spending too little), 30% saying the state spends too much, and 20% who say the state is spending the right amount on border security.
The poll also included extensive questioning about a range of policy subjects including COVID-19, abortion, public safety, K-12 education, discrimination, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the standard assessments of political leaders and some early views of the 2022 election in Texas. A few highlights are provided immediately below, followed by a more extensive list of interesting findings, sorted by subject area. As always, you can find all results from the poll, with graphics for an extensive list of crosstabs, on the Texas Politics Project Latest Poll page.
- Only 22% of Texans now say that COVID is a “significant crisis,” down 21 points from February polling, and the lowest share rating COVID a significant crisis in 10 University of Texas polls measuring attitudes about the pandemic beginning in April 2020.
- While nearly 70% of registered voters claim to have received a COVID-19 vaccine, 90% of those who have not received a vaccine also say that they do not intend to get one.
- Among those who reported hearing in the news about “the deployment of additional state police and military resources to the border between Texas and Mexico,” 57% supported the deployment and 31% opposed it.
- Asked how concerned they are about “people from foreign countries bringing COVID into Texas,” 41% of Texas voters said they were “extremely” (21%) or “very” (20%) concerned, while 31% were either “not very” (20% ) or “not at all” concerned. Texans registered more concern about the introduction of COVID by foreigners than about the spread of COVID within their own communities.
- A majority of Texans, 51%, agreed that “Parents of children in Texas public schools have enough influence on what their children are taught,” while 35% disagreed.
- The vast majority of Democrats, 74%, said that either Black people (43%) or transgender people (31%) face the most discrimination in America today, while among Republicans, 65% said that either white people (34%) or Christians (31%) face the most discrimination.
- When asked, “Do you support or oppose automatically banning all abortions in Texas if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade?” A majority of Texas voters continue to oppose such a ban (54%, 42% strongly opposed), while 35% expressed support.
- Nearly two-thirds of Texans, 65%, said that they support an increase to the federal minimum wage, consistent with prior measures in 2021 and 2016. A plurality of Republicans, 47%, expressed support for a minimum wage increase for the first time in University of Texas polling.
- Asked whether “the U.S. is doing too much, too little, or about the right amount in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” a plurality said the U.S. was doing too little (39%), 29% said the U.S. was doing the right amount, while 17% had no opinion. However, a majority, 54%, oppose the deployment of U.S. military personnel to Ukraine, 32% strongly; 34%, would support it (11% strongly).
- A majority of Texans, 60%, said that Texas should “accept refugees from Ukraine who have gone through a security process,” while 22% said Texas should not accept Ukrainian refugees. Asked the same question about refugees from Central and South America, 46% of Texas voters said that Texas should accept these refugees, while 40% said that Texas should not.
- Greg Abbott led Beto O’Rourke 48%-37% among the poll’s sample of registered voters, with 16% uncommitted (7% opted for an unspecified “someone else,” 9% saying they “haven’t thought about it enough to have an opinion.”)
The poll was conducted April 14-22, 2022 among 1,200 registered voters in Texas, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.83%. Data was collected over the internet by YouGov. More methodological information can be found in the poll summary document (p. 38) or in the Texas Politics Project Data Archive.
Follow the links below to jump to a topic area:
Views of Texas and the economy
Immigration and border security
U.S. policy in Ukrain and refugees
Perceptions of discrimination against social groups
More public policy results
Job approval ratings
- Asked to compare Texas’ economy now to one year ago, 43% said the state’s economy was worse off, with only 20% saying it was doing better. These were the most negative responses since February 2021, when the state was one year into the COVID-19 pandemic that took hold in February 2020.
- Only 17% said their family’s economic situation was better than a year ago, while 43% said it was worse — 16% said they were “a lot worse off.” The share saying they were worse off was the highest since October 2009, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis (with more than 40 University of Texas surveys in between).
|Poll||Better||Same Compared to a Year Ago||Worse|
- 51% of Texans said that the state is on the wrong track, while 39% said things are headed in the right direction. This was only the second time since the poll was launched in 2008 that the “wrong track” share was higher than 50%, but also the second time in less than a year (the last and only other time was August 2021).
|Poll||Right Direction||Wrong Track|
- The economy and inflation ranked behind only perennial frontrunners immigration and border security in Texans’ estimation of the most important problems facing the state; economic concerns were most frequently cited as the “most important problems” currently facing the country.
- Texans continue to feel the impact of inflation. In a confirmation of widely accepted economic data, 89% said they thought prices for goods and services had generally increased (statistically unchanged from February polling). Among those who detected rising prices, 55% said that those price increases have had a major impact on their household finances, and another 37% said that they have had a minor impact. Only 6% of Texas voters said price increases have had no impact on their household finances.
- Amidst focused attention on the state’s growth in response to the recently completed U.S. Census that found Texas leading the country in population growth, most Texans expressed some awareness about the state’s booming population (87%), but only 34% say this population growth has been good for Texas, with 40% saying it has been bad, up 8 points since the question was last asked in June 2020.
- While a plurality of Democrats viewed the state’s growth positively (42%), a majority of Republicans, 52%, say that population growth has been bad for the state.
- And while growth has been concentrated in the state’s urban and suburban areas, it’s the state’s rural voters who expressed the most negativity about that growth, with 50% saying the growth has been bad for Texas, compared to 39% of suburban voters (34% say good), and 34% of urban voters, among whom a plurality, 40%, say that the state’s population growth has been a good thing.
- A majority of Texas voters, 57%, disapprove of Joe Biden’s handling of the economy, with 54% disapproving of his overall job performance. Governor Abbott receives better marks on the economy, with 43% of Texas voters expressing approval and 36% expressing disapproval amidst an overall job approval rating of 47% approving and 41% disapproving.
- A third of Texans say that either border security (20%) or immigration (14%) is the most important problem facing the state. However, while only 4% of Democrats see these two issues combined as the state’s primary problem, a majority of Republicans, 61%, continue to view border security (37%) or immigration (24%) as the state’s top problem.
- Nearly equal shares say the state spends too much (30%) on border security as say too little (32%), with 20% saying “about the right amount” and 18% not expressing any opinion. The 30% saying that the state spends too much was the highest share expressing this opinion since the item was first asked in February 2019 (at which point the state was spending roughly a fifth of the amount budgeted for the current biennium).
- A majority of Democrats said the state spends too much (54%), while a similar share of Republicans said the state spends too little (51%). Among independents, 26% said the state is spending too much, while 30% say too little, and 18% about the right amount.
- Among those who reported hearing about “the deployment of additional state police and military resources to the border between Texas and Mexico” in the news, 57% supported the deployment while 31% opposed it.
- Support for these deployments, which have taken place as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star,” varied even more sharply along party lines than in the item assessing only state spending. Among Republicans, 90% expressed support for the deployment and only 5% opposed it, while among Democrats, 19% supported the deployment of state resources while 66% opposed it. Among independents, 45% expressed support and 34% opposition.
- Asked how concerned they are about “people from foreign countries bringing COVID into Texas,” 41% of Texas voters said they were “extremely” (21%) or “very” (20%) concerned, while 31% were either “not very” (20% ) or ”not at all” concerned. This level of concern was 13 percentage points higher than overall concern about COVID spreading in their communities (see below for more detail on COVID-19 results).
- Among Republicans, 48% were either extremely (25%) or very (23%) concerned about people from foreign countries bringing the coronavirus to Texas, while 22% were either not very concerned (12%) or not at all concerned (10%). Concern was less pronounced among Democrats: 34% were either extremely (17%) or very (17%) concerned; 38% were either not very (27%) or not at all (11%) concerned
- Results from recurring questions used to probe attitudes about both legal and undocumented immigrants illustrate the underlying attitudes informing immigration policy views. The results reinforce an established pattern of consistent, restrictive attitudes among GOP voters toward immigration and relative openness to immigration and immigrants among Democratic voters.
- A plurality of Texas voters, 40%, said that the U.S. allows too many people to immigrate here from other countries; while 26% said the U.S. allows “about the right amount”; and 19% said the U.S. allows “too few” legal immigrants.
- A large majority of Republicans, 61%, said the U.S. admitted “too many” legal immigrants, while a similar share of Democrats were divided between “too few” (33%) and “about the right amount” (33%). (See the graphic below for complete results broken down by party identification.)
|About the right amount||33%||21%||22%|
|Don’t know/No opinion||18%||18%||9%|
- Another item probed views of illegal immigration by asking whether respondents agreed with the statement, “Undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States should be deported immediately.” Results differed little from results collected a year prior in April 2021 polling: 54% agreed (34% strongly), 38% disagreed (21% strongly).
- The results show the same partisan pattern in attitudes toward illegal immigration evident in views about the proper amount of legal immigration: 82% of Republicans agreed with immediately deporting all undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S., 57% strongly, while 14% disagreed. Among Democrats, 23% agreed (9% strongly), while 67% disagreed (44% strongly). Independents as a group are less punitive in their views of illegal immigration, but are closer to Republicans than to Democrats: 52% agreed with the immediate deportation proposition, while 35% disagreed.
As the U.S. plays a leading role in the Western allies’ response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the poll explored Texans’ attitudes toward U.S. policy, including views of the use of U.S. troops.
- Asked whether “the U.S. is doing too much, too little, or about the right amount in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” a plurality, 39%, said the U.S. was doing too little, 29% said the right amount, with the remaining 17% holding no opinion.
- While the partisan differences in attitudes were somewhat muted, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to think the Democratic-led foreign policy is helping Ukraine less than it should: 41% of Democrats said the U.S. was doing the “right amount,” while only 23% of Republicans said the same. A plurality of Republicans, 44%, said the U.S. was doing “too little,” while 39% of Democrats said the same; 19% of Republicans said the U.S. was doing “too much,” while only 7% of Democrats said the same.
|Don’t know/No opinion||17%|
- While Texans express support for the U.S. buttressing Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion, a majority, 54%, oppose the deployment of U.S. military personnel to Ukraine, 32% strongly; with 34% who would support it (11% strongly).
- A plurality of Democrats, 42%, support deploying U.S. troops in Ukraine, while a majority of Republicans, 61%, oppose sending U.S. forces.
- A majority of Texans, 60%, said that Texas should “accept refugees from Ukraine who have gone through a security process,” while 22% said Texas should not accept Ukrainian refugees; 18% had no opinion or didn’t know.
- Among Democrats, 75% favored accepting Ukrainians, as did a narrower majority of Republicans, 51%. Independents as a group were less supportive: a plurality, 46%, supported accepting Ukrainian refugees, while 29% opposed and a quarter had no opinion.
- To provide context for Texans’ views of Ukrainian refugees, half of respondents were randomly selected to be asked the item about Ukrainian refugees, while the other half were asked in an identically worded question whether “Texas should or should not accept refugees from Central and South America who have gone through a security clearance process?” Support for accepting Latin American refugees was 14 percentage points lower than for Ukrainian refugees: 46% favored accepting them, while 40% opposed welcoming these refugees.
- Partisan differences in attitudes toward Central and South American refugees were much more stark than those toward Ukrainian refugees, similar in direction and intensity to those expressed in response to the immigration and border security items. Among Democrats, 73% supported accepting refugees from Latin America, while only 11% were opposed. Republican attitudes were the inverse of Democratic views: 23% supported Texas accepting Latin American refugees, while 64% opposed settling these refugees in Texas. Independents were evenly split: 39% supported accepting them and 39% opposed.
- Eighty percent of Texas voters expressed an unfavorable view of Russian president Vladimir Putin, while only 6% expressed a favorable opinion with 14% unable to offer a positive or negative view. While both Democrats and Republicans expressed unfavorable views of Putin (89% and 77%, respectively), Democratic attitudes were largely unchanged, though more negative, compared with results to the same item asked in February of 2017, when 78% of Democrats held an unfavorable view of Putin. Among Republicans, the share holding an unfavorable view has increased over the same time frame by 26 points, from 51% unfavorable (14% favorable, 35% no opinion) in February 2017, to 77% unfavorable today — and only 7% unfavorable.
For the third time since 2018, the April UT/Texas Politics Project Poll included an extensive set of questions exploring Texans’ perceptions of the amount of discrimination currently experienced by different groups in the United States.
- In a battery repeatedly and regularly asked in University of Texas polling about both the amount of discrimination faced by different groups in society and then, which from among those faces the most discrimination, April polling finds that Black people remain the group most likely to be perceived as facing the most discrimination in America today, selected by 26% of Texas voters. The experience of Black people was followed by transgender people (20%), white people (14%), and Christians (12%).
- Partisanship shaped these perceptions. The vast majority of Democrats, 74%, said that either Black people (43%) or transgender people (31%) face the most discrimination in America today, while among Republicans, 65% said that either white people (34%) or Christians (31%) face the most discrimination.
|Gays and Lesbians||7%||5%||5%|
- Amidst ongoing political conflict over the rights of transgender Texans, particularly children, the survey found strong crosscurrents in attitudes as Texas voters consider an issue that is relatively new to many of them. In the large set of questions about discrimination against groups, 37% of Texans say that transgender people face “a lot” of discrimination in America today, more than any of the 10 groups tested among Texas voters to fall within that response category.
- However, a separate question on the survey found that 63% also said that “the sex listed on a person’s original birth certificate should be the only way to define a person’s gender,” with 26% of Texans disagreeing, and 11% unsure.
- Republicans expressed near-unanimity in response to this item, with 87% saying that gender should be defined by the sex on a person’s original birth certificate. Democrats were significantly more split. A majority of Democrats, 51%, said that gender should not be defined solely, or only, by a birth certificate, but 35% of Democrats agreed that it should. Among Democrats with a college education, 67% said that gender could be defined in other ways (20% disagreed), while among non-college educated Democrats, opinions were split, with 42% saying that gender should only be defined by a birth certificate and 43% saying that it should not.
Abortion. With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to issue a landmark ruling related to the abortion rights established in Roe v. Wade, the poll found little change in the existing pattern of responses to the question: “Do you support or oppose automatically banning all abortions in Texas if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade?” Among all registered voters, 35% supported such a ban, 21% strongly; 54% opposed it, 42% strongly. A large majority of Democrats, 80%, opposed banning access to abortion in Texas, with 73% strongly opposed. Republican opinion is less lopsided: 57% support a complete ban should Roe be overturned, 37% strongly, while 34% oppose banning all access to abortion, 17% strongly. Independents as a group again fall between Democrats and Republicans on the abortion issue, but hold opinions more in line with Democrats than Republicans: 26% would support a post-Roe ban, but a sizable majority, 57%, would oppose it. In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed a so-called “trigger law” that would make abortion illegal upon the issuance of a United States Supreme Court judgment overruling, wholly or partly, Roe v. Wade.
|Don’t know/No opinion||11%|
Public education. Results to questions asked in response to rhetoric and policy emphasized largely by Republican elected officials and activists in the public discussion of K-12 education reveal the emerging partisan polarization on two emerging issue frames: parental influence on classroom teaching content, and increased monitoring of material in public school libraries. The newness of the recent framing of these issues and the limited availability of polling data invite caution about drawing conclusions about trends in public opinion on issues that are still only just beginning to activate public consciousness — and for which we have a limited number of measurements.
- Asked whether they agree or disagree that “Parents of children in Texas public schools have enough influence on what their children are taught,” 51% agreed while 35% disagreed, with 14% declining to agree or disagree. Among Democrats, 64% agreed with only 20% disagreeing. Republicans were more closely divided in response to an issue being embraced and promoted by many of the GOP’s elected officials in Texas: 42% agreed while 46% disagreed. But Republican positions were not strongly held, and appeared primed for influence by partisan opinion leaders in the future: 28% “somewhat agreed” and 27% “somewhat disagreed.”
- Among the 87% of respondents who reported having heard something “about the efforts by some Texas elected officials, parents, and parent groups to remove books from public school libraries,” 36% supported those efforts while 55% opposed them (41% strongly). Strong partisan differences were evident in the responses, though again with signs of more consensus among Democrats than among Republicans. Only 10% of Democrats supported efforts to remove books from public school libraries, while 84% opposed these efforts – 72% strongly. Among Republicans, 59% supported these efforts (nearly a third, 30%, strongly), though another 30% opposed them. A majority of independents, 59%, expressed opposition, while 23% expressed support.
|Don’t know/No opinion||5%||18%||11%|
- Attitudes on a more familiar K-12 issue that has receded from public prominence in recent years, but that is now showing signs of reemerging, remain closely divided: 45% of Texans supported “Redirecting state tax revenue to help parents pay for some of the cost of sending their children to private or parochial schools,” while 40% opposed the idea — commonly referred to as “vouchers.” Republicans were largely in favor of the idea — 61% expressed support, 27% opposition. Among Democrats, 25% supported it while 59% expressed opposition. Considering the traditional geographic politics associated with the issue in the Texas Legislature, 43% of urban voters supported the idea and 41% opposed it; 45% of suburban voters supported and 41% opposed it; and 48% of rural voters supported redirecting state tax revenue away from public schools while 35% opposed it.
Crime and public safety. Asked about the extent to which crime is a problem in the area they live, 16% of Texans said that crime was a major problem, 58% said it was a minor problem, and nearly a quarter, 23%, said it was not a problem at all. There were no meaningful differences along partisan lines, though White Texans were less likely to see crime as a major problem (13%) than were Black (21%) or Hispanic (20%) Texans. Asked how safe they feel in the area where they live, 36% reported feeling “very safe” 51% reported feeling “somewhat safe,” leaving only 8% feeling “somewhat unsafe” and 3% feeling “very unsafe.”
A battery of questions on Texans’ attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19 revealed a sharp decline in Texans’ overall concern about the pandemic, though partisan and racial differences in concern about the virus and accommodations made in response to it persist among this overall decline in urgency.
- The share of Texans who consider COVID-19 “a significant crisis” declined from 43% in February to 22% in April. This decline was most prominent among Democrats, among whom 36% now view COVID as a significant crisis, down from 66% in February. Among Republicans, the share saying that COVID is either a minor problem, or not a problem at all, increased 22 points since February to 61%.
|category||A significant crisis||A serious problem but not a crisis||A minor problem||Not a problem|
An exception to this decline in worry about the coronavirus is evident when concerns are directed to people from foreign countries potentially bringing COVID-19 into Texas, an issue intertwined with the powerful public opinion currents related to immigration and border security present in several other survey results.
- Asked how concerned they were “about the spread of the coronavirus in your community,” 28% of Texans were either “extremely” or “very concerned,” down from 39% in February; 45% were either “not very” or “not at all concerned,” up from 31% in February.
- However, as mentioned above and in contrast, 41% reported being “extremely” or “very concerned” about “people from foreign countries bringing coronavirus into Texas,” 13 points higher than concern about local spread.
- When it comes to measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, 62% reported that they are staying away from large groups, while 51% reported “wearing a mask when in close contact with people outside your household.”
- While nearly 70% of registered voters claim to have received a COVID-19 vaccine, 90% of those who say that they have not received a vaccine also say that they do not intend to get one.
The April 2022 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll is the tenth consecutive poll with a battery of questions related to COVID-19 beginning in April 2020 near the onset of the pandemic. See our updated COVID-19 trends page for highlights of trends in responses, including many results broken down by relevant subgroups such as party and race/ethnicity.
Head-to-head Texas governor match-up: Greg Abbott led Beto O’Rourke 48%-37% among the poll’s sample of registered voters, with 16% uncommitted (7% opted for an unspecified “someone else,” 9% saying they “haven’t thought about it enough to have an opinion.) Partisan preferences were predictably lopsided, with each candidate earning more than 80% of their partisans’ support. Among independents, Abbott led O’Rourke 40%-26%, with about one third (35%) uncommitted. Abbott led among White Texans 60%-29%; O’Rourke led among Hispanics 45%-36% and among Black Texans 62%-13%.
|Haven’t thought about it enough to have an opinion||9%|
Abbott & O’Rourke favorability ratings: Abbott was viewed favorably by 46% of Texas voters and unfavorably by 40% (33% very unfavorable). Among his fellow Republicans, 80% viewed him favorably (43% very favorably); among the 10% who view him unfavorably, only 4% view him very unfavorably). Beto O’Rourke was viewed favorably by 36% of Texas voters and unfavorably by 43%. Among Democrats, 81% viewed him favorably with only 6% viewing him unfavorably. O’Rourke is underwater among independents, with 20% viewing him favorably and a majority, 52%, viewing him unfavorably (45% very unfavorable).
Other candidate favorability ratings
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: 35% favorable, 35% unfavorable.
Attorney General Ken Paxton: 35% favorable, 34% unfavorable
Land Commissioner George P. Bush: 28% favorable, 35% unfavorable
Rochelle Garza: 10% favorable, 11% unfavorable
Joe Jaworski: 11% favorable, 10% unfavorable
Mike Collier: 13% favorable, 11% unfavorable
Michelle Beckley: 10% favorable, 11% unfavorable
Republican Party: 30% favorable, 49% unfavorable
Democratic Party: 32% favorable, 52% unfavorable
President Joe Biden. Asked to rate President Biden’s overall job performance, 37% approved and 54% disapproved. Among partisans, views of the president continued to be polarized: 79% of Democrats approve while 13% disapprove, with a paltry 6% of Republicans approving of Biden’s job performance in contrast to 87% disapproving – 80% strongly. Independents are leaning heavily negative: 18% approve, and 61% disapprove – 45% strongly.
Biden’s issue area ratings. Biden remains underwater on each of the eight issue areas where the poll sought issue-specific job assessments, including his handling of COVID, transportation, the economy, voting and elections, foreign policy, climate change, crime and public safety, the economy, and immigration and border security. Biden’s best numbers continued to come in response to his handling of the COVID pandemic, but even here, he only finds 37% of Texans approving against 48% disapproving. His worst ratings came in response to his handling of immigration and border security, where 57% of Texas voters registered disapproval compared to only 25% approving, identical to his ratings in the February UT/Texas Politics Project Poll. As the economy rises in salience as a national and a state problem, Biden’s numbers are anemic on economic issues, too: Only 28% approve of his handling of the economy (his second lowest rating), while 57% currently disapprove.
|Transportation & infrastructure||66%||18%||11%|
|Voting & elections||67%||14%||7%|
|Crime & public safety||60%||13%||8%|
|Immigration & border security||55%||8%||5%|
Gov. Greg Abbott. In the first UT/Texas Politics Project poll since he won the contested March GOP gubernatorial primary by a wide margin, Gov. Abbott’s job approval rating was his highest since October 2020: 47% approved of the job he’s doing while 41% disapprove. The share of Texas Republicans granting approval increased to 80% from 74% in February, while the balance of approval/disapproval among independents slid from evenly divided in February (42%/43%) to net-negative territory in April (33%/41%). Among Texans in the suburbs, many of the most hotly contested areas of the state, 47% approved and 41% disapproved in April.
Abbott’s issue area ratings. Of the eight issue areas in which we asked Texas voters to rate Greg Abbott’s job performance (the economy, crime and public safety, immigration and border security, voting and elections, the coronavirus, public education, and the electric grid), the governor receives neither majority approval nor majority disapproval on any single issue. Texans rate him most highly on immigration and border security: 47% approve and 41% disapprove of his handling of this issue cluster — still topping Texans’ assessments (especially Republican assessments) of the most important problems facing the state. He is in net-positive territory on his handling of the economy (43% approve/36% disapprove), of COVID-19 (45%/41%), voting and elections (44%/38%) and crime and public safety (44%/36%). His lowest rating comes in response to his handling of climate change (30% approve/38% disapprove). Disapproval also outweighs approval on Abbott’s handling of the electric grid (36%/45%) and public education (albeit narrowly, 38%/40%).
|Immigration & border security||10%||40%||80%|
|Voting & elections||8%||32%||77%|
|Crime & public safety||12%||29%||76%|
|The electric grid in Texas||10%||23%||61%|
Other Texas job approval ratings
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick: 37% approve / 36% disapprove
Attorney General Ken Paxton: 34% approve / 36% disapprove
U.S. Senator John Cornyn: 32% approve / 39% disapprove
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz: 43% approve / 43% disapprove
For a more extensive look at trends in Texans’ assessments of the job performance of elected officials and for approval ratings of various figures, see our page that tracks job approvals and economic assessments over the life of Texas Politics Project statewide polling.
*ABOUT INDEPENDENTS: All references to independents exclude self-declared independents who, upon a follow-up to the survey’s initial question about party identification, indicated leaning toward one of the parties. The group of “true” independents referenced in this poll made up 13% of the sample. For a complete breakdown of the distribution of 7-point party identification, see the PID7 item in the demographics section of the poll summary.