Conservatives rule the roost in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, but just when you think the hot buttons are all going the same way, Texans surprise you.
They put Rick Santorum in front of the other Republican presidential candidates, Ted Cruz in the rearview mirror of David Dewhurst's campaign wagon, and Sen. Dan Patrick a close second to Comptroller Susan Combs in a fantasy race for lieutenant governor in 2014.
Nobody in the Democratic field for the U.S. Senate has broken into public consciousness; most voters in that primary are undecided.
They think the country is on the wrong track and that the economy and jobs and federal spending are the top issues. The state is in better shape, they told the pollsters, and the persistent big issues here, according to the respondents, are immigration and border security, followed by the economy and jobs.
Texans strongly disapprove of the job the president is doing, but they love Barack Obama compared to Congress. They approve of the job Rick Perry is doing as governor, but are wary of another bid for reelection in 2014.
Any of the Republican candidates for president would win a general election in Texas, although the voters find everyone but Santorum to be more unfavorable than favorable.
They remain split over the question of a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the U.S., and think immigrants with job skills should be preferred to those with family members already living here.
A higher percentage approve of doctor-assisted suicide than approve of an independent, appointed redistricting commission.
Most would support either gay marriages or civil unions. The death penalty remains overwhelmingly popular. Most don't believe the rich pay their share of taxes. A large minority believe that Mormons are Christians, but a significant number say the people they know would not vote for a Mormon for president if they agreed with that candidate on the issues.
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