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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.

Highlights

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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.

Highlights

  • 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.

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  • 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.

Highlights

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:

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  • 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.

Highlights

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.

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  • 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.

 


Reports 2021

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.

    • Summary

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.

  • Highlights

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.

  • Highlights

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.

  • Highlights

Read Report Four to learn more about where Texans stand on electric vehicles.

Media Release, February 25, 2022

 

Research Team

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