In a wide ranging poll of Texas voters, 96 percent of the Republican Party’s most likely voters consider legislation banning “sanctuary cities” to be “very important” to them. They are similarly anxious to see the Texas legislature address real ethics reform, religious liberty, and the creeping power of the federal government.
The poll was commissioned by the Empower Texans PAC, of which I’m the treasurer. It was conducted in mid-September by the Wickers Group, a public opinion consulting firm. The poll was focused on voters likely to participate in the 2016 elections.
Voters are generally pleased with legislation passed by the Texas Senate and adopted in the Texas House, including property tax relief and “e-verify” for state agencies.
No issue polled higher with GOP voters than banning sanctuary cities. Of those planning to participate in the 2016 election, 77 percent overall say the issue is “very important to them. Some 63 percent of the general electorate similarly rated the issue as “very important.”
Two-thirds of Republican primary voters also want legislation that focuses the state’s ethics laws “on elected and appointed government officials rather than private citizens.” More than 60 percent of general election voters agreed.
The Texas Senate passed legislation doing just that this spring, but the measure was gutted in the Texas House and turned against citizens. Among the changes, the House would have forbidden citizens from filming or recording lawmakers in the Capitol without the lawmakers’ prior approval.
Gov. Greg Abbott referred to the House version of the bill as “unconstitutional” after the session ended.
By wide margins, the Texas electorate also wants to see the state legislature do more to push back against the federal government. Nearly 60 percent of general election voters, and 86 percent of the strongest GOP voters, considered it “very important” for lawmakers to pass measures increasing “the rights of Texans to self-governance and reducing the power of the federal government.”
More than 60 percent of general election voters, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) of Republican primary voters, considered it very important for the next Legislature to pass “legislation that will protect the religious liberty of individuals, organizations and businesses, so they are never forced to act in any way that violates their sincerely-held religious beliefs.”
Obviously, there were other issues covered by the poll. I’ll be writing about those in coming weeks.