On Immigration And Climate Change, Texans Remain Divided, New Polls Find

Nearly 40% of Texas voters believe too many migrants are entering the U.S. A large majority believe climate change is happening. They don’t agree on what to do about it.

Produced by Terri Langford

By Texas TribuneNovember 6, 2019 9:21 am, ,

Two new University of Texas-Texas Tribune polls were released Wednesday, on  two subjects that have generated political controversy – immigration and climate change. They’re two in a series of polls of registered voters in Texas that were conducted in the last few weeks.

From The Texas Tribune:

On immigration issues, a wall between Texas partisans

Thirty-nine percent of Texas registered voters believe too many people are allowed to immigrate to the U.S. from other countries, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Another 29% say about the right amount of immigration is allowed, and 16% say too few immigrants are admitted into the country.

Republicans were most likely to say too many immigrants are admitted; 59% say so. Among Democrats, 22% say so, and among independents, 30% say so.

“A stable majority of Republicans think immigration lets too many people in,” said James Henson, head of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin and co-director of the poll. He noted similar results among GOP voters in earlier UT/TT polls in February 2018 and October 2018.

Half of Texas voters agree that “undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States should be deported immediately,” while 44% disagree. Most voters are forceful about it: On that question, 29% agree strongly and 26% disagree strongly. Among white voters, 56% would deport and 39% would not. Among Hispanic voters, 37% would deport and 56% would not. Black voters were split, 43% to 42%. The partisan divide is deep here: 24% of Democrats think undocumented immigrants should be immediately deported and 69% do not; among Republicans, 76% would deport and 18% would not. Independents are split 47% to 41% in favor of immediate deportation.

More Texans are optimistic than are concerned about the state’s increasing racial and ethnic diversity, but partisan differences are evident in voters’ opinions on that question. Among Democrats, 62% are optimistic and 22% are concerned about the changes. Among Republicans, 30% are optimistic and 42% are concerned. Independent voters fall somewhere in between: 35% optimistic, 27% concerned about rising diversity.

Read more immigration poll results

Texans say climate change is happening, but it’s a highly partisan issue

Two-thirds of Texas registered voters believe climate change is happening, but their urgency about it varies considerably, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Less than a quarter of voters — 23% — say climate change is not happening, and another 12% say they aren’t sure. The partisan splits are big. Among registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats, 88% say climate change is happening, a view shared by 74% of independents and 44% of Republicans. Another 42% of Republican voters don’t think climate change is happening.

Among those who believe climate change is underway, 72% say they are “very worried” (34%) or “somewhat worried” (34%), while 28% say either they are “not very worried” or “not at all worried” about it. Among the Democrats in that group, 89% are very or somewhat worried. Among the Republicans who believe climate change is happening, 48% say they’re worried. And 68% of independents say they’re worried about climate change.
Overall, 47% say the federal government should be doing “a great deal” or “a lot” about climate change, while 31% say government should do “a little” or “nothing.” Another 16% took the middle road, saying government should do “a moderate amount.” The partisan lines are evident here: 79% of Democrats, 41% of independents and 18% of Republicans say the government should be doing a great deal or a lot about climate change. On the other hand, 8% of Democrats, 23% of independents and 55% of Republicans say the federal government should be doing a little or nothing about it.

Read more poll results.


A previous version of this story addressed Texas voters’ responses to the UT/Texas Tribune poll on guns. This portion of the on-air conversation was cut, due to limited time. .