Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made his plan to build a "great, great wall" between the United States and Mexico a central part of his campaign platform, but, oddly enough, Texans aren't as into the idea as Trump claims he is, according to a new poll by Texas Lyceum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.
In fact, the majority of Texans, to the tune of 59 percent, oppose Trump's "great wall" plan, according to the annual Texas Lyceum Policy Poll which rolled out on Wednesday. The results on likely voters was less decisive, with 48 percent saying they're against the border wall while 46 percent said they're for it. (Considering the poll — which sampled 1,000 Texas adults contacted via a cellphone or a landline, was conducted via live interviews in either English or Spanish — came out with a margin of error plus or minus 3.1 percent, the likely voter results are pretty much a draw.)
The immigration issue splits along the expected lines with likely voters: 85 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of African Americans who are likely voters say they are against the Trump's wall, while 67 percent of the Republicans polled say they're into the idea. In fact, the poll found 54 percent of Texans aren't sour on the immigration concept as a whole — they all said that immigration helps the United States more than it hurts the country. Either way, immigration was deemed the most important issue facing Texas, according to the poll.
Meanwhile, what the people who answered the poll questions are really concerned about on the national level is the economy. For nine years now the economy has been singled out as the top issue facing the United States and this year is no different.
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Other issues that have been grabbing national headlines also showed up in the poll results. Transgender rights have increasingly become a part of the national discourse, and this has showed up in the poll where people weighed in on the whole bathroom issue. Older Texans said they believe people should use public bathroom facilities like public schools based on birth gender. But voters between 18 and 29 years old were a lot less worried about that whole who-pees-where thing: The bulk of them are more likely to support students using the bathroom based on their gender identity, instead of their gender at birth, according to the poll.
The question of Medicaid expansion was a nonstarter with 49 percent of Texans saying there's no need to change Medicaid so that more low income Texans are eligible for the program. The take on the whole Uber/Lyft ride-sharing regulation question was a bit more decisive: 54 percent of those polled say it should be regulated the way taxis are and 48 percent say it should also be regulated on the local level.
On the broader issue of discrimination, the poll used the same two questions asked last year, looking at whether those polled felt they'd experienced discrimination at the hands of an employer or a police officer. And the results fell along the usual lines. While only 6 percent of Anglos say they have experienced discrimination from a police officer, 23 percent of Hispanics and 51 percent of African Americans who participated in the poll say they've dealt with it. The findings break similarly when it comes to the question of an employer.
So yeah, Trump totes around opinions and views that are about as subtle as a very large, well, border wall, but Texans aren't as into that whole thing as the orange-hued politician claims to be. In fact, that may be one of the most remarkable upshots of Trump's 2016 run, because the Donald has done what seemed to be impossible just a few years ago. He makes the views of Texas voters seem downright nuanced compared to him. Strange, isn't it?