UH-TSU Texas Trends Survey
Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Congressman Mickey Leland.
Three Texas legends who dedicated their lives to serving the Lone Star State.
Their political careers were in full swing in the early 1970s, when the Texas population was smaller and less diverse. They had a common goal: to create a better state for everyone.
Fifty years later, Texas looks a lot different today. According to the decennial survey completed in 2020, Texas’ population is 29,145,505, with the largest 10-year population gain (3,999,944) and the third highest growth rate (15.9%) in the nation. The vast majority of the state’s growth is due to people of color.
In the spirit of these Texas legends, the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston and the Executive Master of Public Administration Program in the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University are launching the Texas Trends Survey, a five-year project to study Texas’s changing population and opinions. In addition to a representative sample of all Texans, the surveys will include an oversample of people of color to allow for an objective and statistically valid report of their opinions and experiences. The data gleaned from the annual surveys and reports will be shared with policymakers, business and community leaders, academics and the general public. With objective data in hand, decision makers throughout the state will be equipped to determine the best routes leading to a better Texas for everyone.
Report One. Texas Trends Survey 2022: Election
The 2022 Texas Trends Survey conducted by the Hobby School of Public Affairs and the Executive Master of Public Administration Program in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University focuses on opinions about the candidates for the top three statewide races and about significant issues important to the Lone Star State. The results of this survey will be presented in five separate reports: the election, gun safety, the economy, criminal justice and healthcare.
The first report of the 2022 Texas Trends Survey examines Texans’ preferences for the candidates running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
The survey was fielded Aug. 11-29, 2022 in English and Spanish, with 2,140 YouGov respondents 18 years of age and older, resulting in a confidence interval of +/-2.1. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education and are representative of the Texas adult population.
While the population examined in the four issue reports includes all Texans 18 years of age and older, the election-related report focuses on the 1,312 likely voters (confidence interval of +/- 2.7%), and, to a much lesser extent, on a subset of these likely voters, the 1,012 (confidence interval of +/- 3.1%) who said that they were almost certain to vote, rather than only being very or somewhat likely to vote.
In addition to the five statewide reports, the 2022 Texas Trends survey also looks at the race for county judge in Harris County, the nation’s third largest county and Texas’ largest. This county-specific election study is presented as the second report in the overall series.
The Race for Governor
- In the race for governor, Republican Greg Abbott leads Democrat Beto O’Rourke by 7% among likely voters, 49% to 42%, with 7% undecided and 1% intending to vote for Libertarian Mark Tippetts and 1% for the Green Party’s Delilah Barrios.
- Abbott holds a 29% (61% to 32%) lead over O’Rourke among white voters while O’Rourke holds a 57% (72% to 15%) lead over Abbott among Black voters, a 15% (53% to 38%) lead among Latino voters and a 9% (48% to 39%) lead among those voters with a mixed or other ethnic/racial identity.
- Abbott and O’Rourke are deadlocked at 45% among women voters, while Abbott enjoys an 18% (55% to 37%) lead over O’Rourke among men.
- Older Texans belonging to the Silent Generation/Baby Boomer cohort and to Generation X favor Abbott over O’Rourke by margins of 28% (61% to 33%) and 11% (51% to 40%) respectively. O’Rourke is the candidate of choice among Millennials and Generation Z by margins of 21% (55% to 34%) and 23% (54% to 31%) respectively.
The Race for Lieutenant Governor
- In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican Dan Patrick leads Democrat Mike Collier by 6% among likely voters, 49% to 43%, with 8% undecided.
- Patrick holds a 26% (60% to 34%) lead over Collier among white voters while Collier holds a 63% (78% to 15%) lead over Patrick among Black voters, a 14% (51% to 37%) lead among Latino voters and a 5% (44% to 39%) lead among those voters with a mixed or other ethnic/racial identity.
- Collier holds a narrow 1% lead over Patrick among women voters (46% to 45%) while Patrick enjoys a 15% (54% to 39%) lead over Collier among men.
- Older Texans belonging to the Silent Generation/Baby Boomer cohort and to Generation X favor Patrick over Collier by margins of 26% (60% to 34%) and 11% (52% to 41%) respectively. Collier is the candidate of choice among Millennials and Generation Z by margins of 20% (55% to 35%) and 28% (55% to 27%) respectively.
The Race for Attorney General
- In the race for attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton leads Democrat Rochelle Mercedes Garza by 3% among likely voters, 45% to 42%, with 10% undecided and 3% intending to vote for Libertarian Mark Ash.
- Paxton holds a 23% (56% to 33%) lead over Garza among white voters while Garza holds a 61% (75% to 14%) lead over Paxton among Black voters, a 16% (51% to 35%) lead among Latino voters, and a 15% (45% to 30%) lead among those voters with a mixed or other ethnic/racial identity.
- Garza holds a 5% lead over Paxton among women voters (45% to 40%) while Paxton enjoys a 13% (51% to 38%) lead over Garza among men.
- Older Texans belonging to the Silent Generation/Baby Boomer cohort and to Generation X favor Paxton over Garza by margins of 22% (55% to 33%) and 10% (49% to 39%) respectively. Garza is the candidate of choice among Millennials and Generation Z by margins of 22% (55% to 33%) and 31% (55% to 24%) respectively.
Read Report One to learn more about where likely voters in Texas stand on the 2022 candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Media Release September 7, 2022
Report Two. Texas Trends Survey 2022: Harris County
In addition to the statewide election analysis of likely voters, the 2022 Texas Trends survey looks at the race for county judge in Harris County, the nation’s third largest county and Texas’ largest, with a population of more than 4.5 million residents.
While the non-election related reports we will subsequently release focus on all Harris County adults aged 18 years and older, this county-specific election report is based on the analysis of a sample population of 195 likely voters, with a confidence interval of +/- 7.0%. Given the small size of this population, caution should be used in interpreting the results due to the comparatively large margin of errors surrounding all of the estimates.
This county-specific election study is presented as the second report in the overall series, and it includes the preferences for candidates running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in addition to county judge.
- The vote intention in the race for Harris County judge is 52% for Democrat Lina Hidalgo and 42% for Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer, with 6% undecided.
- This 10 percentage point lead by Hidalgo is notably higher than the 1 percentage point lead she garnered in the Hobby School election survey released in July.
- Del Moral Mealer holds a 19 percentage point advantage over Hidalgo among white voters, 58% to 39%.
- Hidalgo holds a 71 percentage point advantage over del Moral Mealer among Black voters, 79% to 8%, and a 44 percentage point advantage among Latino voters, 69% to 25%.
- Hidalgo enjoys a 14 percentage point lead over del Moral Mealer among women, 53% to 39%, but only a 2 percentage point lead among men, 50% to 48%.
- Del Moral Mealer enjoys a 16 percentage point lead over Hidalgo, 56% to 40%, among the combined Silent Generation/Baby Boomers cohort, and Hidalgo a comparable 16 percentage point lead over del Moral Mealer among Generation X, 54% to 38%.
- Hidalgo is the overwhelming favorite of the combined Millennials/Generation Z cohort, with a 40 percentage point lead in vote intention over del Moral Mealer, 67% to 27%.
Read Report Two to learn more about where likely voters in Harris County stand on the 2022 candidates for county judge, governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Report Three. Texas Trends Survey 2022: Gun Safety
The survey module on gun safety includes opinions of 2,140 YouGov respondents 18 years of age and older, resulting in a confidence interval of +/-2.1. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education and are representative of the Texas adult population.
10 Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence
A majority of Texans across demographic and partisan lines support a variety of gun reform proposals seeking to reduce violence in the Lone Star State. Majorities strongly and somewhat supporting the following 10 potential reforms are shown in Figure 1:
- 80% of Texans support a ban on anyone with a restraining order filed against them for stalking or domestic violence from possessing or purchasing a gun.
- 78% of Texans support requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers, including those purchasing at gun shows and private sales.
- 74% of Texans support allowing judges to take guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
- 71% of Texans support raising the age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21.
- 69% of Texans support raising the age to purchase any gun from 18 to 21.
- 69% of Texans support establishing a waiting period between the time a person purchases an assault rifle and when they receive it.
- 57% of Texans support allowing local governments to conduct gun buyback programs.
- 56% of Texans support a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines.
- 55% of Texans support a ban on the sale of assault rifles.
- 54% of Texans support a ban on the ownership of assault rifles.
- Across all ethnicities and races, women are generally much more likely than men to support these gun control proposals.
- Black Texans are on average significantly more supportive of these gun control proposals than are both Latino and white Texans, while Latino Texans are on average significantly more supportive than are white Texans.
The Federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act
The survey respondents were asked about their level of support for or opposition to five principal components of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden in June 2022.
- Support among Texans for the main components of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act range from 59% to 75%, with a majority of Democrats, Independents and Republicans supporting four of the five components evaluated.
- 75% of Texans support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s enhanced background checks over a period of 10 days that include juvenile records for prospective gun buyers under the age of 21.
- 75% of Texans support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s provision of $300 million in federal money for school safety programs that will fund school resource officers and bolster security in schools.
- 74% of Texans support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s expansion of the current law, which bars people convicted of domestic abuse or subject to a domestic abuse restraining order from owning or purchasing a gun, to include intimate partners.
- 72% support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s establishment of a penalty for people who buy guns for people who don’t qualify to buy a gun.
- 59% support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s provision of $750 million in federal money to states that create “red flag” laws. This component is the only one that does not enjoy bipartisan majority support.
The Demographics of Household Gun Ownership in Texas
- Two out of five Texas adults (42%) live in a household where at least one person is a gunowner, with 52% of white, 35% of Latino and 29% of Black Texans living in such households.
- 50% of the members of the Silent/Boomers cohort live in a household with a gunowner compared to only 33% of Generation Z.
- 57% of Republicans live in a household with a gunowner, in contrast to 36% of Independents and 32% of Democrats.
Read Report Three to learn more about where Texans stand on these proposed reforms, including differences of opinion when considering gender, age, race/ethnicity and partisanship.
Media Release September 22, 2022
Report Four. Texas Trends Survey 2022: School Safety
The survey module includes opinions of 2,140 YouGov respondents 18 years of age and older, resulting in a confidence interval of +/-2.1. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education and are representative of the Texas adult population.
Nine Proposed Policies on School Safety
Respondents were asked what impact they believe the nine different policies would have on school safety. The response options were that the policy would make schools more safe, would make schools less safe, or would not make a difference for school safety.
Figure 1 displays the proportion of Texans who believe each policy would make schools more safe, less safe, and would not make a difference for school safety.
- Three-quarters or more of Texans believe two policies would make schools more safe: increasing student access to mental health services (76%) and practicing lockdowns or procedures for active threat situations (75%).
- An additional two-thirds or more of Texans believe three other policies would make schools more safe: having armed police officers inside school buildings (71%), having metal detectors at school entrances (69%), and having armed security guards inside school buildings (68%).
- An additional three-fifths or more of Texans believe two other policies would make schools more safe: restricting the number of entrances to school buildings (62%) and organizing campaigns to discourage bullying (61%).
- Only two policies are seen by less than half of Texans as not making schools safer: having teachers carry guns in school after undergoing training (48%) and having unarmed security guards inside school buildings (31%).
- Two policies are seen by between a quarter and one-third of Texans as making schools less safe: having teachers carry guns in school after undergoing training (35%) and having unarmed security guards inside school buildings (28%).
- One-third or more of Texans believe two of the policies would not make a difference for school safety: having unarmed security guards inside school buildings (41%) and organizing campaigns to discourage bullying (35%).
- The data underscore that Texans believe that most of these reforms would make a positive difference for school safety, with significant doubts only existing for the policies that would have trained teachers carry guns in schools and would have unarmed security guards inside school buildings.
Read Report Four to learn more about where Texans stand on these proposed school safety policies.
News Release, October 3, 2022
Report Five. Texas Trends Survey 2022: Inflation Expectations
From June 2021 to June 2022, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers increased by 9.1% – the most significant 12-month increase since 1981. An increase in the general price level typically leads to the decline of purchase power across groups depending on several economic factors. This report analyzes the inflation expectations of Texans in the second half of 2022. The report further explores differences in inflation expectations among Texans by income, party identification and voting preferences.
- On average, Texans expect a level of inflation of 8.6% for the next twelve months. However, they expect higher inflation in the energy and food sectors (Figure 1).
- 6% of Texans think that the inflation rate will increase in the next 5 to 10 years.
- Only 22.8% of respondents think inflation will decrease during the same period.
- Only 12.9% of Texans think their income will grow faster than inflation in the following year. This result implies that most Texans expect that their real income (in terms of purchasing power) will shrink in the following year (Figure 2).
- Lower-income households have higher inflation expectations than higher-income households, likely influenced by the recent evolution of food and energy prices.
- Respondents who favor Gov. Greg Abbott (incumbent) for the governor position expect a higher level of inflation in the next 12 months, whereas respondents who favor Beto O'Rourke (Democratic party candidate) are much more optimistic about the future inflation (Figure 3).
Read Report Five to learn more about the inflation expectations of Texans.
Media Release, October 6, 2022
Report Six. Texas Trends Survey 2022: Criminal Justice and Immigration
In this report, researchers examined Texans’ attitudes toward criminal justice and immigration issues. The report is organized into two chapters. First, researchers explored opinions on criminal justice issues, including respondents' attitudes on bail reform, trust and effectiveness of law enforcement officers in their communities, and whether increasing funding to law enforcement agencies would impact crime levels. Then, researchers assessed respondents’ opinions on immigration, including reforming the court system, how the US government handles asylum seekers and topics related to legal immigration.
The survey was conducted between Aug. 11 and Aug. 29, 2022, in English and Spanish and included 2,140 registered voters in Texas aged 18 years and older. The margin of error was ±2.1% at the 95% confidence level. Political ideology, race and ethnicity emerged as important factors that explain variations in attitudes toward criminal justice and immigration issues.
Support for Senate Bill 6
- 57.8% of Texans support Senate Bill 6, also known as the Damon Allen Act, which requires those with prior violent crime records to post cash bail to be released and for prior criminal histories to be reviewed before setting bail.
Trust in local law enforcement by race and ethnicity
- Whites had the most trust in their local law enforcement officers (68.2%), while Black respondents had the least amount of trust in their local law enforcement officers (46.7%).
- Almost half (50.5%) of Hispanic respondents trusted law enforcement in their communities, while about one-fifth of Hispanic respondents did not (21.3%).
Increasing funding for law enforcement officers would help to reduce crime in my community.
- 52.9% of Texans agree that one way to help reduce crime in their communities is to fund law enforcement officers, while 20.2% do not think funding them would aid in crime reduction.
How much do you agree or disagree with statements related to immigration reform?
- 65.9% of Texans in our survey agree that we need to have more immigration judges and courts to help ease the backlog of current and future immigration cases.
- Similarly, 65.2% of Texans agree that court hearings for asylum seekers should be expedited to significantly decrease the wait time for a hearing.
How much do you agree or disagree with statements related to immigration reform?
- Over 80% of conservative or very conservative respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that asylum seekers who did not receive asylum must immediately return to their country of origin.
- At least three-fifths of liberal respondents disagreed with federal border patrol officers expelling immigrants crossing the border regardless of whether they were seeking asylum.
- 59.5% of conservatives and 69.8% of those who said they were very conservative believe the US government should make it harder for asylum seekers to be granted legal status in the US; the inverse was true for those who said they were very liberal (20.2%) or liberal (22.5%).
- There is a higher degree of consensus across all ideological groups regarding handling the increased number of asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border. Almost a majority of each ideological group did not think the US was doing a good job, with those who were very conservative having the highest dissent (74%).
Read Report Six to learn about Texans’ opinions on criminal justice and immigration policy issues.
Media Release, October 13, 2022
Report Seven: Texas Trends Survey 2022: Health Care
Findings from the survey's questions on health care are summarized in this report. This report analyzes health insurance coverage, access to healthcare providers, and respondent's opinions and attitudes on policies related to Medicaid and prescription drug prices.
In terms of insurance coverage, 21% of the respondents are not insured. Of those insured:
- The top three types of insurance are: health insurance through their employer or union (29%), Medicare (23%), and Medicaid (13%)
- Whites are more likely to be uninsured (11%) compared to Black (7%) and Hispanic (6%) respondents
- Income is related to access to insurance and insurance type. The highest-income respondents have the lowest uninsured rate (3%), while all other income groups (earning less than $200,00) have a higher uninsured rate (around 8%)
When asked about access to a primary health provider:
- Nearly one fourth of respondents (23%) do not have a regular place to go for health care. Not having health problems (51%) and the cost of co-pays and prescriptions (18%) are the main reasons for not having a regular place to go
- Income level is related with going to a regular place for health care
Regarding positions on policies about Medicaid and proposals to lower the costs of prescription drugs:
- 83% of respondents supported making it easier for generic drugs to come to market, which was the most supported policy. The least favored proposal was allowing the federal government to set limits on drug prices, though nearly seven in ten (69%) still favored set limits on price increases
- Over half (52%) of the survey respondents were in favor of expanding Medicaid, 30% in favor of keeping Medicaid as it is today, and 18% did not know or were unsure
- Women, democrats, and older respondents were most likely to the proposed policies to lower the costs of prescription drugs
Read Report Seven to learn about Texans’ opinions on health care and policies related to health care.
Media Release, October 20, 2022
Report One. Texas Trends Survey 2021: Abortion and Transgender Athlete Policies
The inaugural Texas Trends Survey conducted by the Hobby School of Public Affairs and the Executive Master of Public Administration Program in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University focuses on opinions about recently passed legislation during the 2021 regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature and other timely issues important to the Lone Star State. The results of this survey will be presented in four separate reports: abortion and transgender athlete policies, redistricting and election reforms, electric vehicles and criminal justice issues.
The first report of the 2021 Texas Trends Survey examines Texans’ attitudes and preferences related to public policies governing abortion and the requirement that public school students compete only in UIL sports associated with their biological sex.
The survey was fielded Oct. 4-21, 2021 in English and Spanish, with 2,067 YouGov respondents 18 years of age and older, resulting in a confidence interval of +/-2.2. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, ethnicity/race, and education and are representative of the Texas adult population.
SummaryTexas adults were queried about under what conditions abortion should be legal at several stages of pregnancy: immediately after six weeks (the current Texas law before the U.S. Supreme Court), after 15 weeks (the Mississippi law before the U.S. Supreme Court), and after 20 weeks (the Texas law prior to September 2021).
Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), the 2021 Texas abortion law, provides no exceptions for either rape or incest, and only permits abortion after six weeks if the mother’s life is at risk. More than two-thirds (69%) of Texans hold the position that the current Texas abortion legislation is too restrictive, with almost half (46%) believing abortion should be legal in most or all cases after six weeks, and close to one-fourth (23%) thinking that abortion should be allowed after six weeks only in the event of rape or incest or risk to the mother’s life.
However, when Texans were asked how much they support or oppose the legislation (SB 8) banning abortion after a “fetal heartbeat” could be detectable (around six weeks of pregnancy) except to save the mother’s life: 37% of Texans strongly support the legislation, 18% somewhat support it, 11% somewhat oppose it, and 34% strongly oppose it. In sum, among those Texans with an opinion, a narrow majority of 55% supports the legislation while 45% opposes it. This legislation is supported by three-fourths of those Texans whose preferred abortion policy at six weeks is to allow abortion only in the case of rape or incest, exceptions absent from SB 8, in addition to if the mother’s life is at risk.
In regard to the restrictions contained in the Mississippi law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks, except in the event the mother’s life is at risk or there is severe fetal abnormality, 30% believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases and 31% believe abortion should always be illegal. Two-fifths believe abortion should only be legal in the case of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk (23%) or only if the mother’s life is at risk (16%).
Since 2013, Texas has prohibited abortion after 20 weeks except when the mother’s life is at risk. This legislation is not seen as too restrictive by a majority (57%) of Texans. Almost two in five (37%) believe abortion should be illegal in all cases after 20 weeks while another 20% believe abortion should only be legal if the mother’s life is a risk. One-fifth (22%) support abortion after 20 weeks only in the case of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk while 21% support allowing abortion after 20 weeks in all or most cases.
Black (61%, 42%) Texans are significantly more likely than white (44%, 30%) and Latino (45%, 27%) Texans to believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases after six and 15 weeks, respectively.
Support among Democrats for abortion being legal in most or all cases after six, 15 and 20 weeks is 67%, 51% and 35%, respectively, compared to only 27%, 10% and 7% among Republicans. In contrast, 34%, 45% and 53% of Republicans hold the position that abortion should always be illegal at six, 15 and 20 weeks, respectively, compared to only 10%, 18% and 21% of Democrats.
Approximately two-thirds support allowing an abortion when the baby’s hope of surviving for a long time after birth is near zero (67%) and when the baby would be born with a life threatening disease (65%). If the baby would be born with a serious disability, 58% of Texans favor allowing an abortion to take place.
The respondents were asked about their level of support for House Bill 25 (HB 25) from the third 2021 special session requiring Texas public high school and middle school students to compete only in sports associated with their biological sex, such that a transgender female would not be eligible to compete in athletics with biological females. More than one-half (55%) of Texans strongly support HB 25, along with 15% who somewhat support it for a total proportion of support of 70%. Only 17% of Texans strongly oppose the legislation while 13% somewhat oppose it.
Three-fourths (75%) of whites, 64% of Latinos, and 63% of Blacks support HB 25.
More than nine out of every ten (91%) Republicans support HB 25 compared to 73% of Independents and 48% of Democrats.
Read Report One to learn more about where Texans stand on the laws governing abortion and transgender athletes.
Media Release October 27, 2021
Report Two. Texas Trends Survey 2021: Election Reform and Redistricting
The 2021 Texas Trends Survey’s second report examines Texans’ attitudes and preferences related to election reforms passed during the second special session of the 2021 Texas Legislature and redistricting.
- The change in the minimum number of early voting hours from eight to nine hours is supported by 86% of Texans opposed by only 14%.
- The change making ballot harvesting a third degree felony is supported by 82% of Texans and opposed by only 18%.
- The change requiring Texans to provide their drivers’ license number (or last four numbers of their Social Security number) on both their mail ballot application and their mail ballot is supported by 74% and opposed by 26%.
- The modification explicitly restricting assistance to disabled Texas voters of only reading and marking the ballot by those assisting them is supported by 69% and opposed by 31%.
- The change allowing Texas voters to correct mail ballot errors online to prevent their ballot from being rejected is supported by 66% and opposed by 34%.
- The change allowing partisan poll watchers to have more freedom of movement throughout the polling place is supported by 63% and opposed by 37%.
- The prohibition of drive-thru voting is supported by 59% and opposed by 41%.
- Making it a felony for an election administrator to send a mail ballot application to anyone who has not solicited one is supported by 59% and opposed by 41%.
- The change of prohibiting 24-hour early voting by requiring polls to open no earlier than 6AM and close no later than 10PM is supported by 58% and opposed by 42%.
- While 69% of whites support making it a felony for an election administrator to mail out unsolicited mail ballot applications, this change is backed by only 39% of African Americans and by 52% of Latinos.
- 66% of white Texans support the ban on drive-thru voting compared to 55% of Latinos and 42% of Blacks.
- Noteworthy generational differences exist in regard to support for the ban on drive-thru voting, which is supported by more than two-thirds (69%) of the Silent/Baby Boomer generations, but by only 51% of Millennials and 52% of Generation Z, with Generation X halfway between the two extremes at 60%.
- The proportion of Republican support for the three reforms ranges from 79% (prohibit 24-hour voting) to 85% (prohibit drive-thru voting), more than double the proportion of Democratic support for these two reforms of 32% and 33%.
- When asked “How much of a problem is it, when one political party controls the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature, that the legislative districts are drawn to intentionally favor that majority party?”, 48% of Texans believe the scenario described is a major problem, 21% believe it is a minor problem, 12% do not consider it to be a problem, and 19% don’t know enough to have an opinion. Excluding the don’t know responses, 59% of Texans with an opinion believe that this scenario of tailor-made districts designed by, and to benefit, the majority party is a major problem compared to 27% who see it as a minor problem and 14% who don’t consider it to be a problem.
- 76% of Democrats considers one party control over the redistricting process resulting in legislative districts intentionally drawn to favor the majority party to be a major problem, with only 6% considering it not to be a problem. A majority of Independents (57%) also considers the scenario to be a major problem, with 19% of Independents not seeing it as a problem at all. A plurality of 45% of Republicans considers this situation to be a major problem, followed by 35% who view it as a minor problem and 20% who don’t consider it to be a problem.
Read Report Two to learn more about where Texans stand on election laws and redistricting.
Media Release October 29, 2021
Report Three. Texas Trends Survey 2021: Criminal Justice Reforms
This report examines Texans’ attitudes related to criminal justice and proposed criminal justice reforms in the Lone Star State.
The survey respondents were asked how much they support or oppose the implementation of nine proposed criminal justice policies in Texas:
- Cut police department budgets.
- Require police officers to receive more extensive conflict de-escalation training.
- End Stop-and-Frisk policing, where officers have wide discretion to stop people and search them for weapons.
- Use some of the police department’s budget to fund social services.
- Allow first-time offenders charged with a non-violent crime to be released without paying bail while they await trial.
- Legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana.
- Legalize the sale and use of recreational meth, cocaine, heroin and opioids.
- Prosecute police officers who use excessive force.
- Require police officers to receive more extensive racial bias training.
- The most popular proposed policy would require police officers to receive more extensive conflict de-escalation training, which is supported by 86% of Texans, and is followed closely in support (79%) by a policy that would require the prosecution of police officers who use excessive force.
- Two additional reforms also enjoy robust support. One would require police officers to receive more extensive racial bias training, a policy that is supported by 74% of Texans, while another (67%) would legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana.
- Two proposed reforms are opposed by a majority of Texans. Three-quarters (75%) of the respondents oppose cutting the police budget, and 52% oppose using part of the police department’s budget for funding social services.
- A higher proportion of Black Texans than white and Latino Texans supports every one of the nine reforms.
- In the case of four reforms, Black support is substantially greater than both white and Latino support, with the levels among the latter two not significantly different. Most noteworthy is the support of more than one-half of Blacks (51%) for cutting police department budgets compared to less than one-quarter of Latinos (23%) and whites (20%).
The respondents were asked the extent to which they agreed with four “pro-police” statements:
- The budget for the police in my community should be increased.
- Because police officers have such dangerous jobs, we should not second-guess the decisions they make.
- I trust the police in my community.
- People today do not give our police officers the respect they deserve.
- More than two-thirds of the respondents agree that they trust the police in their community and that people today do not give police officers the respect they deserve while more than three-fifths also agree that the budget for the police in their community should be increased. In contrast, three-fifths of Texans do not agree that because police officers have such dangerous jobs, we should not second-guess the decisions they make.
- Several of the racial/ethnic differences in “pro-police” support are substantial. For instance, 78% of whites and 68% of Latinos trust the police in their community compared to only 50% of Blacks. And while 77% of whites and 69% of Latinos agree that people don’t give police the respect they deserve, only 47% of African Americans concur. Finally, while 69% of whites and 63% of Latinos agree that the budget for the police in their community should be increased, only 48% of Blacks concur.
The respondents were asked what impact three bail reform policies would have on the amount of crime in their community.
- More than four-fifths (82%) believe that a policy that prevents suspects with previous convictions for violent crimes from being released on bail would reduce crime.
- Three-quarters (75%) of Texans believe that a policy that would prevent suspects who have been arrested while currently out on bail to again be released on bail would reduce crime.
- More than three-quarters of white, Latino and Black Texans believe that preventing suspects who have prior convictions for violent crimes from being released on bail will reduce crime.
- More than two-thirds of all three groups believe that preventing suspects who are arrested while out on bail from being released on bail again will reduce crime.
- Slightly more than half of Texans agree that Blacks and Latinos receive less equal treatment than whites in the Texas criminal justice system.
- One half of Texans agree that the police in Texas treat Blacks and Latinos less favorably than whites.
- More than half (54%) of Texans agree that Texas police officers are more likely to use force when confronting Black suspects than when confronting white suspects, and one half (50%) also believe this to be true when confronting Latino suspects rather than white suspects.
Read Report Three to learn more about where Texans stand on criminal justice reforms.
Media Release November 11, 2021
Report Four. Texas Trends Survey 2021: Electric Vehicle
This is the fourth report from the first survey. This report examines Texans’ political attitudes related to electric vehicles, obstacles to electric vehicle adoption, and support for public policies that would promote the purchase and lease of electric vehicles. The survey, fielded between Oct. 4 and Oct. 21, 2021, asked 2,067 respondents about whether they owned or planned to own an electric vehicle, the reasons why they would not consider owning or leasing an electric vehicle in the future, and support for three policy options aimed at encouraging the purchase or lease of electric vehicles.
- Over 90% of respondents did not currently own or lease a vehicle that only uses electric power.
- Of those who did not currently own or lease an electric vehicle, only 11% said they were very likely to own or lease an electric vehicle compared to 38% who said they were not at all likely.
- The main reasons why respondents agreed they would not consider buying or leasing an electric vehicle were the cost of electric vehicles (57% of respondents) and the lack of an adequate amount of charging stations (53% of the respondents).
- The younger the generation, the more likely to own or lease an electric vehicle. Among the Silent/Boomer generation surveyed, only 2% reported owning or leasing an electric vehicle compared to 17% of the Gen Z participants.
- Most respondents from the Silent/Boomer generation (57%) said they were not at all likely to purchase or lease and electric vehicle in the future, compared to 17% of Gen Z’ers, 21% of Millennials, and 41% of the GenX’ers.
Figure 2.4 Likelihood of owning or leasing an electric vehicle by generation
- Respondents who identify with the Republican Party (58%) were more likely to say they are not at all interested in owning or leasing and electric vehicle compared to Democrats (22%), Independents (36%), and those who identified with no or another political party (31%).
Figure 2.5 Likelihood of owning or leasing an electric vehicle by party ID
- Sixty percent of men and 54% of women who said they were unlikely to purchase or lease an electric vehicle in the future cited cost as one of the reasons.
Figure 3.3 Reasons for not wanting to purchase or lease an electric vehicle by gender
Respondents were also asked to the extent to which they support three policy options for electric vehicles.
- Nearly three-fourths of respondents strongly or somewhat supported the creation of a network of electric vehicle charging stations across Texas and the US comparable to the network of gas stations by 2035; three-fifths of respondents supported a federal tax rebate for the purchase of electric vehicles.
- Black (67%) and Hispanic (63%) respondents shared more support than white (52%) respondents for creating a network of charging stations across the US and Texas. Men (61%) were more likely than women (57%) to support this policy option.
- Republicans were overall the least likely to support any of three policy options and Democrats were the most likely with a substantial majority supporting either a federal tax rebate (72%) or the creation of a network of charging stations (76%).
Figure 5.1 Electric vehicle policy support by race and ethnicity
Read Report Four to learn more about where Texans stand on electric vehicles.
Media Release, February 25, 2022
Michael O. Adams, Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration Program, Texas Southern University
Gail Buttorff, Co-Director, Survey Research Institute; Instructional Assistant Professor, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Renée Cross, Executive Director & Researcher, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Jim Granato, Dean, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Mark P. Jones, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy's Fellow in Political Science, Rice University; Senior Research Fellow, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Johanna Luttrell, Assistant Director, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership; Instructional Assistant Professor, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Henrietta MacPepple, Research Assistant, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Maria P. Perez Argüelles, Research Associate, Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston
Pablo M. Pinto, Director, Center for Public Policy; Professor, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Carroll G. Robinson, Associate Professor, Texas Southern University
Savannah Sipole, Research Associate, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Delgerjargal Uvsh, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Agustín Vallejo, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Sunny Wong, Professor, Hobby School of Public Affairs