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Evangelical Protestant Hispanics split from others on candidates and issues, Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll shows

October 5, 2022

(DALLAS, TEXAS) — Hispanic voters in Texas prefer Democrat Beto O’Rourke in the Texas governor’s race, but those who identify themselves as Evangelical Protestants are much more likely to side with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and side with Abbott on issues, according to new polling from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TXHPF) and four TEGNA television stations in Texas.

The latest report from the groups’ September polling shows that while O’Rourke leads Abbott 51% to 39% among all Hispanic likely voters, Evangelical Protestant Hispanics overwhelmingly favor Abbott, 69% to 19%. O’Rourke is the choice among Catholic (56% to 33%) and non-religious (64% to 27%) Hispanic likely voters. In addition, Evangelical Protestant Hispanics are significantly more likely to support six immigration and border security policies that Abbott has implemented. In addition, Catholic Hispanics are much more likely than Evangelical Protestant Hispanics to support modifying current Texas abortion law to make it easier for a woman to obtain an abortion.

“The different political preferences among Hispanic Texans illustrate the diversity of this critical population of voters,” said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TXHPF. “There is not a monolithic Hispanic voting bloc in Texas. Just like we see with other groups of voters, Hispanics’ religious preferences can go a long way in predicting how they will vote in elections.”

A full report of the latest findings from the poll is available here. Among the information contained in the poll:

  • Among Hispanic women, O’Rourke leads 54% to 33%. Among Hispanic men, O’Rourke leads 48% to 45%.
  • O’Rourke holds a two-to-one advantage among younger Hispanics belonging to Generation Z and the Millennial generational cohort, who, combined, are expected to account for at least two-fifths of Texas Hispanic voters this fall. The two candidates are effectively tied among Hispanics belonging to the Baby Boomer/Silent Generation cohort and to Generation X.
  • Hispanics living in a household where Spanish is the dominant language favor O’Rourke 67% to 26%. Among Hispanics where English is the dominant language, O’Rourke’s lead is 49% to 43%.
  • 59% of Catholic Hispanics would modify current Texas abortion law to make it easier for a woman to obtain an abortion, while just 23% of Evangelical Protestant Hispanics would support changing state law to make it easier for a woman to obtain an abortion.

“Just as is the case within the Anglo population, Hispanics who are Evangelical Protestant overwhelmingly favor Abbott over O’Rourke,” said Mark P. Jones, TXHPF Chief Analytics and Information Officer.  “The policy and partisan preferences of Hispanic Evangelical Protestants are notably more similar to those of their Anglo brethren than they are to those of non-religious, and in some instances Catholic, Hispanics.”

This is the third report drawing on data from a survey of 1,172 likely Texas voters that took place between September 6 and September 15 of 2022 (confidence interval of +/- 2.9%). The responses are weighted to provide a population that is representative of Texas Hispanic registered voters. As part of the larger study, a population of 468 (margin of error +/- 4.5%) Texas Hispanic likely voters was surveyed.

Four TEGNA stations in Texas — WFAA, KHOU, KVUE and KENS — co-sponsored the poll with the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation.

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. The Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll shows majority support Abbott border policies

September 29, 2022

(DALLAS, TEXAS) — Public support for Gov. Greg Abbott’s approach to border security and immigration has helped propel him to a lead in his race for re-election, according to newly released polling data from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TXHPF) and TEGNA television stations in Texas.

An absolute majority of Texas likely voters support six border policies that Abbott has implemented, while between one-fifth and one-third of likely voters oppose these policies. Support for Abbott’s approach on the high-profile issue helps explain the polling lead he has consistently maintained: Polling that the TXHPF released earlier this week showed that Abbott leads O’Rourke 51% to 44% among likely voters and 53% to 43% among the most likely (almost certain) voters.

Specifically:

  • 66% of likely voters support Texas state and local law enforcement arresting people who cross the border with Mexico illegally, while 22% oppose.
  • 60% of Texas likely voters support Texas deploying the Texas National Guard to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border, while 28% oppose.
  • 60% of Texas likely voters support Texas sending the Texas DPS to patrol the U.S.- Mexico border, while 27% oppose.
  • 57% of Texas likely voters support Texas building a border wall, while 34% oppose.
  • 54% of Texas likely voters support Texas paying to send asylum seekers by bus to Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C., while 31% oppose.
  • 54% of Texas likely voters support Texas spending $1.5 billion every year on border security, while 32% oppose.

All six policies draw support from a majority of white voters. Three policies garner support from a majority of Hispanic voters and one policy gets support from a majority of Black voters.

Only one in three (34%) likely voters approve of Biden’s handling of the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, significantly less than the 56% who approve of Abbott’s handling of the situation at the border.

“Support for Governor Abbott’s approach to border security is a major factor in the lead that he holds over Beto O’Rourke as we enter the final weeks of the campaign,” said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TXHPF. “At a time when many issues divide clearly along partisan lines, the issue of border security has helped Abbott attract independents and some Democrats, as well as overwhelming support from Republicans. As long as border security remains a major issue in the race, the Governor’s lead will be difficult to overcome.”

The poll found that voters want some moderation on abortion; specifically, the Texas likely voter’s preference is that abortion be illegal in Texas, except if the woman’s life or well-being is at risk or in the case of rape or incest. Specifically:

  • 52% of likely Texas voters believe current Texas law (abortion only if the woman’s life or well-being is at risk), 11% believe the law should be modified to make it harder to obtain an abortion, and 37% believe Texas abortion legislation should be left as it is now.
  • 29% of Texas likely voters would prefer legislation in Texas similar to that in force under Roe v. Wade prior to the June 2022 Dobbs decision, with 22% and 7% favoring abortion through 24 or 20 weeks respectively.
  • 71% of Texas likely voters believe the law of the land under Roe v. Wade prior to the June 2022 Dobbs decision was too permissive in terms of the length and conditions under which abortion was permitted.
  • Among Texas likely voters, 57% of women and 47% of men would make it easier to obtain an abortion in Texas while 43% of women and 53% of men would make it harder to obtain an abortion or leave Texas law as it is now.
  • Among Texas likely voters, 79% of Black women, 58% of Hispanic women and 51% of white women would make it easier to obtain an abortion in Texas while 21% of Black women, 42% of Hispanic women and 49% of white women would make it harder to obtain an abortion or leave Texas law as it is now.

“While a narrow majority of Texas voters believe the state’s current abortion legislation is too restrictive, more than two-thirds consider the policy that had been in force under Roe v. Wade to be too permissive,” said Mark P. Jones, TXHPF Director of Research and Analytics. “The median likely voter prefers an intermediate option where abortion is illegal unless the woman’s life is at risk or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.”

Overall, the poll found that Texans are more confident about the direction of the state than the direction of the country, with 47% of Texas likely voters believing that Texas is headed in the right direction, while 53% believe that the state is headed in the wrong direction. The poll also found that 27% of likely voters believe the United States is heading in the right direction, with 73% believing that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Four TEGNA stations in Texas — WFAA, KHOU, KVUE and KENS — co-sponsored the poll with the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation.

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. The Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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Abbott up 7 points in Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll

September 26, 2022

Few voters are undecided, poll finds.

(DALLAS, TEXAS) — Governor Greg Abbott’s lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke appears increasingly durable, with few voters indicating they are undecided or willing to change their mind at this stage in the race, according to a new poll from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TXHPF) and TEGNA television stations in Texas.

Republican Abbott leads 51% to 44% among likely voters and 53% to 43% among the most likely (almost certain) voters. Only 3% of likely voters and 2% of most likely voters are undecided, with minor-party candidates garnering only marginal support. Virtually all likely voters who intend to vote for Abbott (95%) and O’Rourke (94%) say they are certain about their vote choice.

“Gov. Abbott’s strength among rural and Anglo voters continues to bolster his intransigent structural support in the 2022 race for Texas Governor,” said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TXHPF.  “While O’Rourke has shown himself to be a worthy and hard-working adversary, unless there is a marked shift in the composition of the November electorate, Governor Abbott will remain the political and thought leader of Texas politics.  Only new voters will be able to shift the tide.”

Hispanic likely voters intend to vote for O’Rourke by a margin of 53% to 39%, the poll found, while Abbott has a sizable lead among white voters and O’Rourke is the dominant choice among Black voters.

Republicans are leading in six other statewide races as well:

  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick leads Democratic challenger Mike Collier 48% to 42% among likely voters and by 50% to 42% among the most likely voters.
  • Attorney General Ken Paxton leads Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza 47% to 42% among likely voters and 49% to 42% among the most likely voters.
  • Comptroller Glenn Hegar leads Democratic challenger Janet Dudding 46% to 38% among likely voters and 49% to 39% among the most likely voters.
  • Land Commissioner candidate Dawn Buckingham leads Democratic challenger Jay Kleberg 46% to 38% among likely voters and 50% to 38% among the most likely voters.
  • Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller leads Democratic challenger Susan Hays 48% to 41% among likely voters and 51% to 40% among the most likely voters.
  • Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian leads Democratic challenger Luke Warford 44% to 37% among likely voters and 47% to 37% among the most likely voters.

“All seven of the statewide Republican executive candidates from Abbott for governor to Wayne Christian for railroad commissioner are on course for victory, barring an unprecedented level of turnout by Millennials and especially Generation Z,” said Mark P. Jones, TXHPF Director of Research and Analytics.

Abbott is viewed favorably by 52% and unfavorably by 46% of Texas likely voters while O’Rourke is viewed favorably by 47% and unfavorably by 49% of Texas likely voters.

Donald Trump is viewed favorably by 49% and unfavorably by 50% of Texas likely voters while Joe Biden is viewed favorably by 42% and unfavorably by 57% of Texas likely voters.

Among likely Republican voters, Abbott is viewed favorably by 91%, Ted Cruz by 86% and Trump by 85%.

Among likely Democratic voters, O’Rourke is viewed favorably by 94%, Biden by 87% and Kamala Harris by 82%.

This is the first report of three drawing on data from a survey of 1,172 likely Texas voters that took place between September 6 and September 15 of 2022 (confidence interval of +/- 2.9%). The responses are weighted to provide a population that is representative of Texas registered voters.

Four TEGNA stations in Texas — WFAA, KHOU, KVUE and KENS — co-sponsored the poll with the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation.

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. The Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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Austin won’t stand up to gun violence, so vote for officials who care about your babies

May 29, 2022

The Dallas Morning News

By Jason Villalba

My son George is 8 years old, attends public school, is about to be in the third grade, and he is Hispanic, like most of the little ones who lost their lives last week in Uvalde. His teeth are a little too big for his mouth and his hair is almost always disheveled. But he never fails to warmly hug his mama when she sees him and he is always there to be a friend to his fellow students at his Dallas ISD elementary school.

Like everyone else in Texas, I watched the developments in Uvalde in absolute and abject horror. How could this happen? Who would be so evil as to attack little children? What can be done so that this doesn’t happen again?

But, against all logic and reason, we know that in Texas and the United States of America, this will happen again. Soon and frequently. Why?

Is it because Texans have been acculturated to accept the slaughter of innocent children? As a parent of three children in public school, I am certain that the answer to that question is a resounding, “No!”

Is it because the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms? As a licensed carrier of firearms in my home and car and on my person, the answer to that line of questioning is also “No.”

The reason we are here, yet again, experiencing the collective tragedy of Uvalde, is because of the fecklessness and political cowardice of our elected officials.

How do I know this? Because I used to be an elected official. I represented a wealthy and privileged district of Dallas as a member of the Texas Legislature.

Many members of the Texas House and Senate and various other statewide officials have a vested interest in supporting unfettered and unrestricted access to the most lethal firearms available on the non-military market. There is literally no restriction that they will support unless the National Rifle Association and the Texas State Rifle Association allow them to support it.

This is not hyperbole. During my career in politics, there was zero tolerance for any deviation from the position of the NRA or the TSRA.

I once opposed TSRA legislation that would allow anyone over the age of 18 in Texas to purchase and carry, publicly and openly, any firearm they chose, without any regulation, background check, license or training.

They called the legislation “Constitutional Carry.” Based on discussion with my wife, neighbors and various community leaders, I called this legislation “Terrorist Carry.”

I opposed this foolhardy legislation because I knew it would result in violence and harm to my community. For this opposition, I was attacked.

The ads that the various Texas gun lobby associations published against me had photographs of young women being violated while an evil-looking black-and-white photo of me lurked in the background “allowing” it all to happen. The caption read, “Villalba doesn’t want you to protect your family from thugs and criminals.”

In reality, what I wanted was for my wife and children to be able to go to the local park without the fear that a mentally unstable person, with access to high-powered weaponry, would act out the evil vignettes he had been reading about in his various online communities.

During my time in the Texas Legislature, I advocated for commonsense gun control, for mental health access for students who exhibited proclivities to violence, and for the creation of a school marshal program that provides for armed, licensed Texas peace officers to protect all of our schools.

Unfortunately, the only legislation that passed was the bill that approved armed officers in Texas schools.

As someone who has been in a position to actually address this continuing problem, I can attest that the solution to the problem that we face today is “all of the above.”

We must harden the “soft” targets (grocery stores, libraries, schools, etc.), we must quickly provide access to mental health care for those individuals in our community who exhibit inclinations to violence, and we must limit access to high-powered and lethal firearms, body armor and ammunition to only those individuals who have undertaken a thorough and lengthy inspection process.

My son has no idea what happened in Uvalde this week. But he knows that the grown-ups always make sure that he has pizza Friday at his school and that he and his pops can watch a Mavs game together.

I know how many families out there have little ones like George. I am pleading with you today, please do what you can (i.e., vote) to ensure that our little third and fourth graders can continue to climb on the shoulders of their parents, smile that slobbery smile, and laugh.

If you don’t vote for those officials who have the courage to take the necessary actions to protect our children, there is no guarantee that you will ever hear that laugh again.

Just ask the parents in Uvalde.

Jason Villalba is the CEO of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, and a former member of the Texas House. He wrote this for The Dallas Morning News.

Latinx? Not in Texas. We are Hispanics and Latinos.

April 28, 2022

The Dallas Morning News

By Jason Villalba and Mark P. Jones

A survey of Texas Hispanics and Latinos shows that few embrace the new term.

It has become common for academics, bureaucrats, journalists and other elites to refer to people with Latin American roots as “Latinx.” It’s a gender-neutral anglicized version of the Spanish word Latino, which in Spanish (a gendered language) is used to refer to men and as the generic default when gender is unspecified.

While the term Latinx is increasingly popular among these elites, it remains unpopular among the vast majority of the people it is being used to refer to in Texas, who overwhelmingly favor the terms Hispanic and Latino. Numbering 12 million, more than the entire population of all but six states, Latin American- and Iberian-origin Texans constitute 40% of the Lone Star State’s population and, before the end of the decade, will represent the state’s plurality ethnic or racial group.

In March, the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation surveyed a representative sample of 687 Texans of Latin American and Iberian origin, in English and Spanish, on their opinions of the term Latinx. The survey asked about Latinx alone and in comparison to the two other most common terms used to refer to people of Latin American and Iberian heritage: Latino and Hispanic.

When asked to choose among the three terms, these Texans overwhelmingly prefer Hispanic (72%), followed by a quarter (25%) who prefer Latino and a mere 3% who prefer Latinx.

Across 28 different subgroups within nine sociodemographic categories (age, education, gender, immigration generation, language use, lineage, partisanship, region, religion), significantly more of the respondents of Latin American and Iberian heritage prefer the term Hispanic to Latino, and prefer Latino to Latinx.

There’s one exception. Respondents who speak Spanish primarily or exclusively at home are equally likely to prefer the terms Hispanic (49%) and Latino (47%). In no instance across these 28 sub-groups did more than 5% of any subgroup prefer the term Latinx.

These Texans also were asked whether they approved, disapproved or neither approved nor disapproved of the use of each of these three terms to refer to people of Hispanic, Latino or Latinx heritage. While, as noted above, significantly more of these respondents favor the term Hispanic (72%) over Latino (25%) when forced to choose, an overwhelming majority approve of using both the term Hispanic (87%) and Latino (81%). Virtually none disapproves of the use of these two terms (4% and 5% respectively). The remaining 9% and 14% neither approve nor disapprove of the use of the terms Hispanic and Latino.

In sharp contrast, only one-third (33%) of these Latin American- and Iberian-origin respondents approve of the term Latinx to refer to people of Hispanic, Latino or Latinx heritage, while two-fifths (39%) disapprove, with the remaining quarter (28%) neither approving nor disapproving.

The levels of approval are low, and levels of disapproval are high, even among groups that might be expected to be more positively disposed to the use of the term Latinx. For example, among women, 35% approve and 36% disapprove of the use of the term Latinx. Among members of Generation Z (born after 1996) 40% approve and 41% disapprove. Among Democrats, 39% approve and 34% disapprove, and among those with a college or postgraduate degree 26% approve and 55% disapprove.

The terms Hispanic and Latino are favored among virtually all Texans of Latin American or Iberian origin. And, while the term Latinx may be popular among many of the elites who dominate the state’s educational and media institutions, it without question is not popular among Hispanic and Latino Texans, and is not the term that they prefer be used to refer to them and to members of their community.

Villalba is chief executive of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation and a former Republican representative to the Texas House. Mark P. Jones is the chief information and analytics officer for the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation and a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute. They wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

Biden’s favorability rating lags among Texas voters

April 13, 2022

Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation Poll shows voters have slightly favorable view of Abbott.

(DALLAS, Texas, April 13, 2022) — Texans have an unfavorable view of President Joe Biden and a slightly favorable view of Gov. Greg Abbott, according to newly released polling from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation.

Abbott is viewed more favorably than his Democratic challenger, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke. The lagging approval numbers for Biden and O’Rourke point to the difficult political landscape facing Texas Democrats approaching the fall elections. Among registered voters:

  • Biden is viewed favorably by 40% of Texans and unfavorably by 57%.
  • Former President Donald Trump is viewed favorably by 48% of Texans and unfavorably by 51%.
  • Abbott is viewed favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 45%.
  • O’Rourke is viewed favorably by 42% and unfavorably by 49%.

“The political landscape is challenging for Democrats in Texas,” said Dr. Mark Jones, Director of Research and Analytics for the TxHPF. “Both Biden and Beto currently find themselves underwater with Texas voters.”

Of 22 state and national political figures whose favorability was measured in the poll, former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, scored the highest favorable rating — 52% — while 46% of Texans view him unfavorably. Former President George W. Bush has a favorable rating of 47% and an unfavorable rating of 45%.

The TxHPF representative survey of 1,435 Texas registered voters took place between March 18 and March 28 (confidence interval of +/- 2.6%). The survey included an oversample of 435 Hispanic registered voters to allow for a more fine-grained analysis of this important demographic.

Among Hispanic registered voters in the poll:

  • Biden is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 44%.
  • Trump is viewed favorably by 38% and unfavorably by 59%.
  • Abbott is viewed favorably by 37% and unfavorably by 54%.
  • O’Rourke is viewed favorably by 53% and unfavorably by 34%.
  • Obama is viewed favorably by 66% and unfavorably by 29%.
  • Bush is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 40%.

“Texas Hispanics view Democrats more favorably than Republicans at this moment in time,” said TxHPF CEO and President Jason Villalba. “However, it is notably that Hispanics have a favorable view of former President Bush — a Texas Republican. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change during the 2022 campaign. Both parties would be wise to aggressively seek Hispanic support in this election and in future elections.”

The polling highlights the pivotal role played by Hispanics in the Democratic Party runoffs for comptroller and land commissioner.

In the land commissioner runoff, Sandragrace Martinez holds a 41% to 25% lead over Jay Kleberg in vote intention, due in large part to her four-to-one (56% to 14%) advantage among Hispanic likely voters.

In the comptroller runoff, Ángel Luis Vega is effectively tied with Janet T. Dudding (29% to 32%), due in large part to his 50% to 18% advantage among Hispanic likely voters.

In the Republican Party railroad commissioner runoff, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian enjoys a substantial lead over Sarah Stogner among likely GOP primary voters, 44% to 18%, with 38% undecided.

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. The Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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Hispanic Texans prefer O’Rourke over Abbott, have slightly favorable view of Biden

April 12, 2022

Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation report suggests Abbott unlikely to win statewide Hispanic vote.

(DALLAS, Texas, April 12, 2022) — Despite recent signs that Republicans are gaining ground among Hispanic Texas voters, a new polling report from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation shows overall support among Hispanic Texans for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke and Democratic President Joe Biden.

The report utilizes a large sub-sample (615 cases) of Texas Hispanics within a statewide survey of Texas registered voters (1,435 cases) to better understand intragroup differences within the Texas Hispanic community regarding vote intention in the November 2022 elections, as well as opinions regarding Biden and former President Donald Trump. The TxHPF survey was conducted between March 18 and March 28.

The poll found that:

  • O’Rourke leads Republican Gov. Greg Abbott by an 18% margin (54% to 36%) among Hispanic likely voters and by a 14% margin (53% to 39%) among the Hispanics who are most likely to vote (almost certain voters).
  • In a hypothetical matchup for attorney general, Democrat Rochelle Garza leads Republican incumbent Ken Paxton by a 25% margin (57% to 32%) among Hispanic likely voters and by a 22% margin (57% to 35%) among the Hispanics who are most likely to vote (almost certain votes). However, neither candidate has yet secured a spot in the November election; both Paxton and Garza will face runoff elections for their party nominations in May, runoffs in which both are presently favored.
  • In a hypothetical matchup for lieutenant governor (included in TxHPF’s first report from the March poll), Democratic challenger Mike Collier leads Republican incumbent Dan Patrick 56% to 33% among Hispanic likely voters. Patrick has secured the GOP runoff, but Collier faces State Rep. Michelle Beckley in a May runoff for the Democratic nomination.
  • Among Hispanic registered voters, 50% view Biden favorably and 44% view him unfavorably.
  • Also among Hispanic registered voters, 38% view Trump favorably and 59% view him unfavorably.

“The survey results suggest the likelihood of Abbott winning a majority of the Hispanic vote in the fall is extremely low, but it’s possible that Abbott could win a majority of the Hispanic male vote in November,” said Dr. Mark Jones, the TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics. “Hispanic Texans view President Biden favorably, but only by a small margin.”

The poll also found that among likely voters:

  • While O’Rourke enjoys an 28% advantage over Abbott (59% to 31%) among Hispanic women, his 7% advantage among Hispanic men (49% to 42%) is one quarter that size.
  • Hispanics who live in households where Spanish is used more than English are significantly less likely to intend to vote for Abbott (17%) than are Hispanics who live in households where English is the dominant language (39%). 
  • Hispanic Evangelical Protestants are significantly more likely to intend to vote for Abbott (65%) and significantly less likely to intend to vote for O’Rourke (27%) than both Catholic (31% and 62%) and non-religious (25% and 58%) Hispanics.

“The Hispanic vote in many ways mirror the country as a whole, with Democrats doing better among women than men and Republicans doing better among evangelicals than non-evangelicals,” said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TxHPF. “Democratic candidates are polling better than Republicans among Hispanic likely voters right now, but their lead among Hispanics is likely not large enough to overcome their struggles to attract white voters across the state.”

The TxHPF released the first report from its March polling last week. That report showed Abbott leading O’Rourke by an 8% margin (50% to 42%) among all likely voters in the state and by a 12% margin (53% to 41%) among all of the most likely (almost certain) voters.

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. The Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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The imminent end of the Bush political dynasty

April 6, 2022

The Hill

By Mark P. Jones

The Bush name was once synonymous with Texas Republican politics. From George H.W. Bush’s eight years as vice president (1981-89) and four years as president (1989-93) to George W. Bush’s six years as governor of Texas (1994-2000) and eight years as president (2001-2009), no family comes close to matching the Bush family’s gravitas and influence within Texas Republican politics during this period.

In fact, many date the Texas GOP’s final ascent to majority status to George W. Bush’s defeat of Ann Richards in the 1994 gubernatorial election, landslide re-election in 1998 and successful presidential bid in 2000. The last time a Democrat won a statewide election in Texas was in 1994, and since the 2002 election Republicans have controlled both chambers of the Texas Legislature, all due in large part to the groundwork laid by George H.W. Bush and, especially, by George W. Bush.

Today, the standard bearer of the Bush family political legacy in the Lone Star State, Land Commissioner George P. Bush (George H.W. Bush’s grandson and George W. Bush’s nephew), is on track to lose in a landslide to embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton in the May 24 Republican primary runoff for attorney general. A late March Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF) survey projects Bush will receive only between a fifth and a third of the GOP primary vote in May.

The Bush name, once an asset within the Texas GOP electorate, is now a liability. As an example, take the two-fifths of Republican primary voters who in the March TxHPF survey adamantly said they would never under any circumstance vote for George P. Bush. When asked why, two-thirds of these Republicans said it is because he is a member of the Bush family.

Today, the favorites of the most reliable Texas GOP primary voters are named Trump, Cruz and Abbott, not Bush. In the TxHPF survey, nine out of 10 (90 percent) of these Texas Republican primary voters have a favorable opinion of former President Donald Trump (70 percent have a very favorable opinion), 89 percent a favorable opinion of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (54 percent very favorable) and 88 percent a favorable opinion of Sen. Ted Cruz (65 percent very favorable).

In sharp contrast, only 49 percent of these same diehard Texas Republicans have a favorable opinion of George W. Bush (18 percent very favorable) and 29 percent a favorable opinion of George P. Bush’s father, former Florida governor Jeb Bush (5 percent very favorable). George P. Bush is the most popular Bush among these Texas Republicans, but even he is viewed favorably by only 51 percent (14 percent very favorable).

And while a mere one in 10 of these Texas Republicans hold an unfavorable opinion of Trump (10 percent), Abbott (11 percent) and Cruz (11 percent), roughly one-half hold an unfavorable opinion of Jeb Bush (57 percent) and George W. Bush (46 percent), and two-fifths view George P. Bush (42 percent) unfavorably.

Between his great grandfather Prescott Bush’s election as U.S. senator in Connecticut in 1952 and George Prescott Bush’s reelection as Texas land commissioner in 2018, no family comes close to occupying the pinnacles of power in America for as long as the Bush family. One of its members has served as president for 12 years, as vice president for eight years, as Florida governor for eight years, as Texas governor for six years, as U.S. senator for 10 years, as a U.S. representative for  four years and as Texas land commissioner for eight years.

But on May 24 George P. Bush’s defeat in the Texas GOP attorney general primary runoff will mark the end, at least for the time being, of a political dynasty dating back 70 years. And the Bush dynasty will be extinguished not by Democrats, but rather by Texas Republicans, who once considered George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush to be their favorite sons. But in 2022, they will be responsible for ending the political career of George P. Bush, the last politically active Bush family member.

Mark P. Jones is the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy’s fellow in political science and the Joseph D. Jamail chair in Latin American Studies at Rice University as well as a co-author of “Texas Politics Today.” Follow him on Twitter @MarkPJonesTX.

Abbott, Other Republicans Lead in New Post-Primary Poll from Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation

April 5, 2022

Paxton, Collier, Garza hold leads in runoff matchups.

(DALLAS, Texas, April 5, 2022) — Republican statewide incumbents hold an advantage in the early stages of the 2022 elections in Texas, but the Democrats lining up to challenge them are within striking distance, according to new polling from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF).

The TxHPF representative survey of 1,435 Texas registered voters took place between March 18 and March 28 (confidence interval of +/- 2.6%). The survey included an oversample of 435 Hispanic registered voters to allow for a more fine-grained analysis of this important demographic.

Among voters who say they are likely to vote in November:

  • Gov. Greg Abbott leads Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke by an 8% margin (50% to 42%) among likely voters and by a 12% margin (53% to 41%) among the most likely (almost certain) voters.
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick leads both of his potential Democratic challengers. Among likely voters, Patrick leads Mike Collier by a 6% margin (49% to 43%) and Michelle Beckley by an 8% margin (50% to 42%). Like Abbott, Patrick holds larger leads over his Democratic challengers (10% over Collier and 13% over Beckley) among the most likely voters. If current numbers hold, his Democratic challenger in November will be Collier; Collier leads Beckley in the May Democratic runoff by a 12% margin (43% to 31%) among likely voters and by a 16% margin (47% to 31%) among the most likely voters.
  • In the Republican runoff for attorney general, incumbent Ken Paxton has a commanding lead over Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Paxton is ahead by a 42% margin (65% to 23%) among likely voters and by a 51% margin (71% to 20%) among the most likely voters. In the Democratic runoff contest for attorney general, Rochelle Mercedes Garza leads Joe Jaworski by a 15% margin (46% to 31%) among likely voters and by a 21% margin (51% to 30%) among the most likely voters. 
  • In hypothetical November matchups, Paxton leads Garza and Jaworski by 6% and 7% respectively among likely voters and by 10% and 12% among almost certain voters, while Bush is in a statistical dead heat with both Democrats, tied with Garza among likely voters and ahead of her by 1% among almost certain voters and trailing Jaworski by 1% among likely voters and tied with him among almost certain voters.

“Republicans are certainly the favorites to win in November, but they have not yet put these contests away,” said Dr. Mark Jones, the TxHPF Director of Research and Analytics. “Texans continue to lean toward Republican candidates, as they have for many years, but Democrats still have time to make these elections competitive.”

The poll also found that:

  • Two-fifths (40%) of Republican primary voters say that they would never vote for George P. Bush.  Two-thirds (66%) of these Republicans say a reason they would never vote for him is that he is a member of the Bush family.  The next most common reasons are his oversight of the Alamo (42%) and that he is not conservative enough (41%).
  • Nine out of 10 (88%) March GOP attorney general primary voters who cast a ballot for fourth-place finisher Louie Gohmert intend to vote for Paxton in the May runoff and 9% for Bush. Supporters of third-place finisher Eva Guzman are more divided, 35% intending to vote for Bush, 28% for Paxton and 37% still undecided.
  • In a November generic U.S. House ballot, the Republican candidate leads the Democratic candidate by a 7% margin (49% to 42%) among likely voters and by a 12% margin (52% to 40%) among the almost certain voters.
  • Hispanic likely voters prefer O’Rourke over Abbott by a 14% margin (53% to 39%). Abbott leads among White likely voters and O’Rourke leads among Black likely voters.

“Hispanics continue to be a vital component of the Texas electorate.  Based on these early numbers, it is clear that the Latino vote in Texas will be determinative this November,” said Jason Villalba, CEO of the TxHPF. “If Democrats intend to win the Governor’s race or other statewide elections this November, they are going to have to significantly increase their advantage among Hispanic voters. If Republicans are successful in continuing to narrow the gap among Hispanic voters, they will be nearly impossible to beat in November.”

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. The Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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Hispanic families in Dallas ISD are less likely than White and Black families to have high-speed internet at home, survey finds

January 13, 2022

DISD parents trust the private sector over the government to provide a high-speed internet network and they overwhelmingly believe that a government-built network would result in higher property taxes.

(DALLAS, Texas, Jan. 13, 2022) — Hispanic families in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) have nearly universal access to high-speed internet service, but have not adopted such service in the same percentages as non-Hispanic families have due to language barriers and a lack of awareness of programs offering the service at little or no cost, according to a new Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (TxHPF) survey of parents with school-age children who live within the boundaries of DISD.

Nine out of ten parents responding to the survey (87%) have high-speed internet in their home, but white parents (96%) are more likely to have high-speed internet than black (87%) and Hispanic (81%) parents. Among parents with a child participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), 83% have high-speed internet at home, compared to 93% of those who do not participate in the NSLP.

Families who do not have high-speed internet service at home were most likely to cite the monthly cost as the primary reason why.

“High-speed internet is widely and readily available to Dallas ISD families, but there continues to be gaps in adoption of high-speed internet that have materialized along racial and economic lines,” said TxHPF CEO Jason Villalba. “In a post-pandemic economy, we know that virtual learning modules are absolutely indispensable to educating our children. Connectivity, via high-speed internet, is an essential utility and unquestionably necessary to achieving this goal. If Hispanic families remain technologically disadvantaged, Hispanic children, who represent over 50% of the future workforce, will be left behind. This is simply unacceptable.”

The survey found that most parents who live within DISD boundaries do not know about low-cost high-speed internet plans provided by AT&T and Spectrum, or about the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Hispanics who prefer to interact in English are much more likely to know about those programs than those who prefer to interact in Spanish, who comprise a majority of the Hispanic families attending DISD. The findings underscore the need for more robust outreach campaigns — especially in Spanish — to make parents more aware of these benefits.

It also found that parents living in DISD are more likely to trust a private company (36%) to provide them with reliable high-speed internet than a local government entity, including the DISD (11%), with 36% trusting both equally and 17% trusting neither.

More than three-quarters of parents with children in DISD (78%) believe that a high-speed internet network built and maintained by Dallas County or the Dallas ISD would cause property taxes to go up, compared to only 6% who believe it would cause property taxes to go down and 16% who believe taxes would remain unchanged.

“DISD parents do not want the school district or the county to build, implement or maintain its own high-speed internet system,” Villalba said. “Our parent-centered research shows that most parents believe that if the government does attempt to build its own system, the result will be higher property taxes.”

The fielding period of this study was from October 20, 2021 through November 30. A total of 460 surveys were administered by ReconMR of San Marcos, Texas, of which sixty-six surveys were conducted over the telephone using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) software, while 394 surveys were conducted online via utilizing Computer Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI). The CAWI respondents were either sent a text message invitation that included a unique link to the online survey for that individual, or upon being reached by telephone, requested a link be emailed or texted to them.

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About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. The Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.

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