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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

New Texas Polling Data Show Texans Continue to Feel the Economic Downturn

Posted: March 16, 2009

New polling data have been released by the Texas Politics project. According to the statewide survey, Texans remain negative about the national economy and their personal economic situation, and still are not strongly engaged in the run-up to the 2010 statewide election. The poll, conducted by members of the Department of Government and the Texas Politics project, surveyed 800 Texas residents between February 24 and March 6.

"It seems clear that the economy is affecting how Texans view public policy options,” said Professor Daron Shaw. “There is greater support for education spending. There is also increased opposition to perceived accommodations for immigrants (and those who encourage illegal immigration), probably because the public is especially sensitive to fairness in the allocation of limited resources. What's more, these reactions are not confined to partisans of one side or the other. They occur across the board."

“The large number of people who are undecided in all of the election numbers suggest that while insiders and political junkies are paying attention to the run-up to 2010, many Texans are not tuned in yet,” said Jim Henson, director of Texas Politics. “Among those who have a preference this early in the contest, the Perry-Hutchison race appears much closer than many people seem to think.

“The economy clearly continues to dominate people's thinking about issues, and Texans remain troubled,” Henson said. “Their views on the issues before the legislature clearly present challenges to lawmakers. As the results on immigration, and even voter ID, suggest, Texans remain a conservative lot on the whole, across ethnic groups and in some cases, party lines. But the results on education, including higher education, suggest that many Texans want government to act decisively—and spend decisively—in some areas.”

Contact Jim Henson or Daron Shaw with questions or comments.

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