The number of Texans who say there is a crisis at the border is the highest it’s been in over a year, with the percentage of those who say it is the most important issue Texas policymakers should address jumping 500% since just last September. The dramatic shift comes less than 100 days into President Biden’s administration. Almost immediately after taking office, President Biden reversed several successful border security programs implemented by President Trump.
Today, better than four out of five Texans (82%) agree there is an immigration crisis. Fully 25% of Texans say it is the most important issue, up from 5% just seven months ago. Addressing the COVID pandemic, mask mandates, and access to the vaccine was the next most important issue at 19%, with unemployment and the economy coming in third at 10%.
The poll was conducted April 11-14 by WPA Intelligence for TPPF and surveyed 804 registered voters statewide. It has a margin of error of +/-3.5%.
Texans also reaffirmed their support for measures to secure elections. In previous polls this year, they supported voter identification requirements (89%), auditing voter lists (89%), and equalizing identification requirements for in-person and mail-in ballots (81%). This month, 80% of Texans agreed with specific security measures saying “voters mailing in ballots should be required to include the identification number of a valid government issued ID such as a driver’s license or the last four numbers of their Social Security card.”
More highlights from the survey:
- When asked what the state should do with the incoming federal COVID relief funding, the top answer was to increase funding for schools (15%), followed by building the border wall (13%), and providing more unemployment benefits (10%). Just 8% of Texans want to expand Medicaid with the money, roughly the same number who say Texas should reject the money altogether (7%) due to the regulations and other strings attached.
- On education, three-quarters of Texans (76%) say that even if their home school district offers a virtual education option, parents should be able to choose the virtual ed program of any district that is willing to accept them. There is broad bipartisan support for this measure, with 69% of Republicans, 80% of Independents, and 85% of Democrats agreeing parents should have a choice. Black Texans show the highest support at 91%.
- Texans support several government transparency measures, such as getting “permission from taxpayers through a ballot initiative prior to borrowing money for the local government” (79%), and “requiring local bond issues to be on the November general election ballot” (80%) instead of during spring elections when far fewer voters show up.
- On energy, a majority of Texans (52%) are unwilling to suffer power outages in order to increase the percentage of unreliable energy sources like wind and solar. Seven out of 10 Texans say “wind and solar energy producers should be required to provide a certain amount of electricity to keep the grid reliable.” Unlike other energy generators, wind and solar companies are not currently required to produce power as needed, which increases the volatility of the electric grid.
“The border crisis is clearly capturing the attention of Texans and they are demanding action to secure the border,” said TPPF’s Chief Communications Director Brian Phillips. “It has supplanted traditional issues like the economy and jobs, health care, and education, and even the pandemic. It ought to be a wake-up call to the Biden administration that reversing the Trump-era policies has had disastrous consequences, and to Texas’ leaders that they have to act if Biden won’t.”