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Poll: Texans Split Along Party Lines on Federal Health Care Law

Texans oppose the Affordable Care Act by a relatively narrow margin, and are divided on the issue along party lines, according to a poll conducted by the Texas Lyceum.

Patients wait to be seen at the People's Community Clinic in Austin, on Nov. 8, 2010.

Texans oppose both the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid, according to a new poll conducted for the Texas Lyceum.

The respondents also said they would be willing to pay higher taxes or fees for transportation infrastructure, that they were marginally in favor of a constitutional amendment creating a fund for water projects, and more worried about texting drivers than drunk ones.

The Lyceum, which bills itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan leadership group, polled 1,000 Texas adults from Sept. 6-20, and the poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points.

The poll found opposition to the federal health care law was relatively narrow, with 41 percent of Texas adults against it and 36 percent supporting it. Among registered voters, 34 percent favor the law and 44 percent oppose it. Democrats like it, by a margin of 64 percent to 18 percent, while Republican oppose it 67 percent to 11 percent. Similarly, 53 percent of registered voters said Medicaid should be left as is, while 37 percent said they think it should be expanded. The party leanings mirrored those on the questions about federal health care: More Democrats favor expanding Medicaid while more Republicans said it should be left as it.

The survey also found:

• Texans are split almost evenly on the quality of the state’s roads and highways.

• They were most willing to pay higher taxes and fees to repair and improve existing roads, followed by adding lanes to highways and roads already in place.

• Asked about the biggest threats to safe driving, they chose texting drivers (42 percent), drunk drivers (27 percent) and traffic congestion (10 percent).

• Registered voters were split 44 percent to 42 percent on the water measure, but the pollsters said “likely voters” favor it, 49 percent to 36 percent.

• Asked about the distribution of funds restored to state education funding, 31 percent of adults said money should go to increased teacher pay, 24 percent said it should be used to hire more teachers and 16 percent would use it for investment in computers and other high-tech equipment.

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