AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) — A University of Texas at Austin poll found that Texas political candidates aren’t always on the same page as voters. Joshua Blank, director of research for the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin, joined first news at four to talk about the results of the poll he conducted.
Blank explained that when they poll voters, they always ask them what are the most important issues facing the state and the country. They found that the majority of Republicans believed immigration and border security was the number one issue facing the state. As for Democrats, their big issues were COVID, political leadership, the economy, voting rights and health care.
They also asked voters about issues that are getting a lot of attention right now in the primaries, such as the grid and public education. They found that these issues are not necessarily important to voters or that they are really new issues that voters don’t really think about.
In addition to the issues already mentioned that are most important to voters, there are a significant number of Republicans and Democrats who do not want to see all abortions banned and are interested in tougher gun control laws. However, this is not what politicians focus on. For example, Beto O’Rourke wants voters to focus on power grid outages.
Blank was very surprised at voters’ attitude toward education.
He points out that “we have seen a lot of talk” from elected officials and “increased attention to public schools and the role of parents and the education of their children”, but the study found that this issue does not weigh heavily on voters.
Voters were divided on the issue of education, and most of them were not very clear-cut in their opinions.
“What that tells me is that this is an issue where politicians are really trying to shape public opinion on this issue,” Blank said.
Learn more about the survey here.
Watch the full video in the player above.
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