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Border issues still loom in Texas voters’ views, UT/TT Poll finds

Border security and immigration continue to dominate Texas voters' thoughts about the most important problems facing the state, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

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Immigration and border security continue as the most important problems facing the state, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

One or the other topped the list for 31% of Texas voters, followed by health care (11%) and political corruption/leadership (9%).

The lists differed by party. For Democratic voters, the top problems facing Texas are political corruption/leadership, 16%; health care, 16%; and immigration, 8%. More than half of Republicans answered border security, 28%, and immigration, 24%.

Political corruption/leadership topped the list of most important problems facing the country, followed by health care (10%), immigration (9%), border security (6%) and the environment (6%).

The list for Democrats: political corruption/leadership, 22%; health care, 15%; and environment, 11%. For Republicans: immigration, 16%; political corruption/leadership, 11%; and border security, 11%.

Nearly half of the state’s voters, 49%, said the country is on the wrong track, while 40% said things are going in the right direction. Those responses appear to correspond with which party is in charge: 72% of Republicans said things are going in the right direction, and 81% of Democrats said things are on the wrong track.

The overall take on the state was better, with 48% saying things are going in the right direction and 37% saying the state is on the wrong track. Among Democrats, 63% had a negative view of what’s happening in Texas; among Republicans, 80% had a positive one.

“Republican ownership of state government makes them slightly more optimistic in the mood questions, and ownership of how things are being run,” said poll co-director Daron Shaw, a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Texans’ assessments of economic matters were generally positive. The national economy is better than it was a year ago, according to 48% of the voters; 24% said it is worse and 25% said it’s about the same.

The state economy is better than last year, 43% said; it’s worse, according to 15%, and about the same, according to 36%.

Asked about how they and their families are doing economically, 41% said they’re better off than a year ago, 19% said they’re worse off, and 38% said things are about the same.

The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points, and an overall margin of error of +/- 4.09 percentage points for Democratic trial ballots. Numbers in charts might not add up to 100% because of rounding.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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