Border security and immigration top the lists of most important issues facing the country and the state, according to voters surveyed for the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Political corruption/leadership was the first item on issues facing the country, with 15 percent of the voters choosing that one. But the twin issues of border security and immigration were second and third, combining as most important problems for 25 percent of the respondents. Health care (8 percent), federal spending/national debt (5 percent) and moral decline (5 percent) were other top items.
Border security and immigration were the top two voter choices for the most important problems facing the state of Texas, with a combined 36 percent of the votes. Health care (8 percent), political corruption/leadership (7 percent), education (7 percent) and gun control/gun violence (5 percent) were other top choices.
The results sync up with voters’ open-ended responses to a question about what the Texas Legislature’s top priorities should be. On that question, 23 percent chose immigration/border security and 14 percent chose education, followed by health care (7 percent) and property taxes (6 percent).
“It’s been a consistent finding that immigration and border security is a top item” on the list of problems facing Texas, said Daron Shaw, a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin and co-director of the poll. “What’s interesting and surprising this time is that it’s an even bigger issue now — and it’s on the national list along with the Texas list.”
As is usually the case in the UT/TT Poll, voters are happier about the direction of the state than they are about the direction of the country.
This time, 39 percent said the U.S. is on the right track and 53 percent said it’s on the wrong one. Texas, on the other hand, is on the right track, according to 49 percent of the respondents; 35 percent said the state going in the wrong direction.
The U.S. economy, on the other hand, is better than it was a year ago, according to 49 percent of the voters. Another 23 percent said things are about the same, and 24 percent said the country’s economy isn’t as good as it was at this time last year.
Almost as many voters — 45 percent — said the Texas economy has improved over the last year, while 35 percent said it’s about the same and 15 percent said things are not as good now as they were then.
On a family level, 40 percent said they and their families are better off than they were a year ago, while 39 percent said things are about the same and 19 percent said things have gotten worse over the last 12 months.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 15-24 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points. Numbers in charts might not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.
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