Public opinion data points for Texas Conservatives as CPAC lands in Dallas

The Conservative Political Action Conference, meeting in Dallas August 4-7, bills itself as “the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world.” Marketing aside, the marquee speakers at this years Dallas confab – former U.S. president Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban – testify to how powerful currents of authoritarianism and nativism are bringing to the surface a unabashedly reactionary resurgence within mainstream conservatism in the U.S. and Europe. (Recent politics in Texas, including the June Republican Party of Texas convention, illustrate why Texas is a good site to showcase these global developments.)

While they lack the national stature and impact of the headliners, the Texas leaders scheduled to speak at CPAC are doing their parts to surf these same currents. Gov. Greg Abbott had an afternoon slot on stage on the conference’s opening day, and got the most enthusiastic applause when he riffed on his program bussing asylum-seeking migrants apprehended at the Texas-Mexico border to Washington and New York. (By comparison, the faint applause that greeted his trumpeting of economic development themes illustrates what does and does not get the modern conservative’s juices flowing.) 

Other major Texas elected officials scheduled at the conference to include Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton. No word on whether the senior senator from Texas was invited.

We've compiled data from the Texas Politics Project Polling archive that captures the attitudes of self-identified conservatives in Texas about home team speakers, as well as some snapshots of other aspects of conservative public opinion in CPAC’s host state. CSPAN is streaming some of the proceedings if you’re not there but want to join in the festivities.

Most important problem facing the country

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Inflation/Rising prices14%18%26%
The economy6%16%18%
Political corruption/leadership12%7%9%
Gun control/gun violence14%11%1%
Gas prices3%7%8%
Environment/Climate change11%5%1%
Border security1%1%8%
Moral decline1%1%7%
Voting rights5%2%1%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Inflation/Rising prices27%29%22%
The economy19%26%10%
Political corruption/leadership10%8%10%
Gun control/gun violence1%1%1%
Gas prices5%7%11%
Environment/Climate change1%1%1%
Border security6%6%12%
Moral decline5%5%10%
Voting rights0%1%2%

Most important problem facing the state

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Border security1%5%27%
Inflation/Rising prices8%12%14%
Immigration3%5%21%
Political corruption/leadership26%8%2%
Gun control/gun violence17%17%3%
Gas prices2%9%7%
The economy4%9%6%
Abortion7%4%2%
Environment/Climate change5%4%0%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Border security14%29%32%
Inflation/Rising prices17%11%16%
Immigration18%26%17%
Political corruption/leadership5%1%1%
Gun control/gun violence4%1%3%
Gas prices6%8%7%
The economy9%7%4%
Abortion2%2%1%

Conservative identification among Texas Republicans

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PollLiberalModerateConservative
July 20082%25%73%
October 20082%20%78%
March 200913%16%71%
June 20096%12%82%
October 20091%15%84%
February 20102%9%89%
May 20101%10%89%
September 20100%9%91%
October 20102%8%90%
February 20113%14%84%
May 20112%11%87%
October 20112%11%87%
February 20121%12%86%
May 20121%22%77%
October 20121%23%76%
February 20132%12%87%
June 20131%14%85%
October 20133%20%77%
February 20141%19%79%
June 20142%12%86%
October 20142%13%85%
February 20151%16%83%
June 20154%16%81%
October 20152%14%85%
February 20162%17%82%
June 20161%15%83%
October 20161%18%81%
February 20173%23%74%
June 20172%11%87%
October 20172%14%83%
February 20184%10%86%
June 20183%13%84%
October 20183%11%85%
February 20194%11%85%
June 20195%13%83%
October 20195%14%81%
February 20202%15%83%
April 20204%13%83%
June 20206%12%82%
October 20205%12%84%
February 20214%15%81%
March 20213%14%83%
April 20213%10%87%
June 20212%15%84%
August 20214%13%84%
October 20212%10%88%
February 20223%12%85%
April 20224%11%84%
June 20224%12%84%
August 20225%13%83%
October 20223%13%84%
February 20233%18%78%
April 20234%16%80%
June 20234%13%83%
August 20233%14%83%
October 20236%19%75%
February 20245%14%81%
April 20246%14%80%

Ratings of Republican elected officials’ conservatism

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Conservative enough42%43%46%
Too conservative48%10%8%
Not conservative enough10%13%39%
Don't know/No opinion0%34%6%

Most trusted branch of the U.S. government

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
The President, the executive branch46%22%4%
The U.S. Congress, the legislative branch10%7%6%
The U.S. Supreme Court, the judicial branch12%22%56%
Don't know/No opinion32%48%33%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
The President, the executive branch5%5%4%
The U.S. Congress, the legislative branch7%5%6%
The U.S. Supreme Court, the judicial branch55%61%53%
Don't know/No opinion33%29%37%

Donald Trump favorability

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Very favorable3%12%47%
Somewhat favorable3%14%27%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable2%11%11%
Somewhat unfavorable6%9%6%
Very unfavorable86%48%9%
Don't know/No opinion0%5%1%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Very favorable26%40%67%
Somewhat favorable32%36%15%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable15%13%6%
Somewhat unfavorable11%5%3%
Very unfavorable15%5%8%
Don't know/No opinion1%0%2%

Belief that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Yes94%65%22%
No5%20%64%
Not sure2%15%14%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Yes32%20%18%
No50%65%71%
Not sure18%15%11%

Institutional approval ratings

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
The military44%54%76%
The police26%42%75%
The municipal or local government where you live39%30%50%
The Texas state government6%23%70%
The public schools49%40%32%
The courts/criminal justice system18%23%33%
The federal government29%19%14%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
The military72%74%80%
The police67%78%78%
The municipal or local government where you live46%53%50%
The Texas state government54%76%75%
The public schools42%28%30%
The courts/criminal justice system36%30%33%
The federal government20%11%12%

Expectations of future political violence in the U.S.

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
More political violence74%47%68%
Less political violence7%10%6%
The same amount of political violence13%24%16%
Don't know/No opinion5%19%9%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
More political violence61%74%67%
Less political violence10%5%5%
The same amount of political violence20%13%16%
Don't know/No opinion8%8%11%

Ted Cruz job approval

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Approve strongly3%6%43%
Approve somewhat3%16%30%
Neither approve nor disapprove4%20%9%
Disapprove somewhat4%8%5%
Disapprove strongly84%46%9%
Don't know1%4%4%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Approve strongly21%45%55%
Approve somewhat39%31%24%
Neither approve nor disapprove17%10%4%
Disapprove somewhat7%5%2%
Disapprove strongly11%6%11%
Don't know6%2%4%

Greg Abbott job approval

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Approve strongly2%10%33%
Approve somewhat4%15%43%
Neither approve nor disapprove5%19%8%
Disapprove somewhat6%12%9%
Disapprove strongly82%42%6%
Don't know0%2%0%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Approve strongly15%31%47%
Approve somewhat49%50%33%
Neither approve nor disapprove13%6%6%
Disapprove somewhat15%8%6%
Disapprove strongly8%5%7%
Don't know0%0%0%

Dan Patrick job approval

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Approve strongly2%8%29%
Approve somewhat3%14%31%
Neither approve nor disapprove10%19%17%
Disapprove somewhat5%9%6%
Disapprove strongly74%36%9%
Don't know6%15%7%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Approve strongly16%27%40%
Approve somewhat22%41%27%
Neither approve nor disapprove33%11%14%
Disapprove somewhat11%7%3%
Disapprove strongly10%6%11%
Don't know8%7%7%

Ken Paxton Job approval

104747

104745

 

Not speaking: John Cornyn

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CategoryLiberalsModeratesConservatives
Approve strongly3%4%12%
Approve somewhat5%15%25%
Neither approve nor disapprove9%24%16%
Disapprove somewhat19%16%17%
Disapprove strongly57%27%20%
Don't know7%14%10%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Approve strongly8%11%16%
Approve somewhat24%30%22%
Neither approve nor disapprove26%13%12%
Disapprove somewhat15%19%16%
Disapprove strongly13%18%26%
Don't know14%9%8%

Conservative intensity crosstabs of all results from the June 2022 University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll.