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New Poll: Texans Agree with Democrats on the Issues, Democrats Must Continue to Tell our Story


by: Joseph Vogas

Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT



Voter engagement, telling the Democratic Party's story, can make the difference this November

Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the second half of their Texas poll on Thursday afternoon. The second half of their poll included polling on several issues as well as possible 2016 Presidential match-ups, including voters opinions on Presidential runs by Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry.

PPP took the opportunity to ask Texans what their opinions were on raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, and whether men and women should be paid the same for equal work. In all of these issues polled, the respondents agreed with the positions largely adopted by Democrats and progressive minded individuals. The rub comes when realizing this is the same poll that found Greg Abbott was leading Sen. Wendy Davis in a head-to-head matchup for Governor. In the analysis of the first part of this poll, I concluded the voters were not inclined to support Democrats only because many were not familiar with the candidates. The same is true on the issues.

This poll is a reminder that Democrats represent the values that matter to working people throughout Texas, but that message has not been heard by enough voters nor has the case been made as to why candidates matter and what a good elected official can do to create positive change.

Click after the jump to see how many Texans agree with Democrats on the issues and how few Texans want Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry to run for President as well as how they and other Republicans would fare against Hillary Clinton in Texas for the 2016 Presidential election.

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Per the issues in Texas, Democrats have a 14% lead on the question of whether Medicaid should be expanded, an 18% lead and a majority on the question of raising the minimum wage, and a 20% lead on the question of support for legislation to address male-female income disparity in the workplace. On the issue of pay disparity, 93% of Texans agree to the concept that men and women should be paid the same for equal work.

However, the second part of this poll disturbingly gave Sen. Ted Cruz a net positive approval rating by 12 points. Despite disagreeing with Sen. Cruz on basic economics issues, issues he has publicly voted, spoken, and campaigned against, why do many Texans have a favorable opinion of our junior Senator? The simplest answer is a lack of communication and engagement. Voters have short term memories: The shut-down of the federal government, filibuster reform and the nuclear option, and the large number of pro-gun bills passed last spring by the Texas legislature are now largely forgotten by many Texans. Until this last year, a vast, strong political network did not exist for progressive Texans to speak with voters outside of their like-minded friends to make sure the larger electorate was aware of what their officials were actually doing to harm them. With the arrival of Battleground Texas and the massive expansion of the state's Democratic Party, such a network is starting to take hold.

The constant communication of the positive Democratic message, while reminding voters how Republicans have voted and advocated against Texans' economic values, serves as a constant reminder of why Democratic values are Texas values.

As it stands, PPP also polled former Secretary Hillary Clinton against several Republicans for the office of President of the United States. In Texas, the Republicans edge Clinton by margins of 2 to 10 points. Sen. Rand Paul performs the best while Gov. Chris Christie performs the worst of those tested. Today, Gov Rick Perry would lead Clinton by 5 and Sen. Ted Cruz would lead by 7. However, when Texans are asked if either Perry or Cruz should run for President, Texans reject both candidates. In the case of Perry, he is rejected overwhelmingly. This is another example of why there is a need to tie Democratic candidates to the simple, fundamental economic issues most Texans support. Currently, Texans do not support their incumbent Republican officials, but are willing to vote for them over a Democrat because they are yet to hear the Democratic story of economic fairness and social justice.

Here are the full political polling results:

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Ted Cruz's job performance?
Approve ..................................................47%
Disapprove..................................................35%
Not sure..................................................18%

Q2 If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush, who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton.................................................. 42%
Jeb Bush......................................................... 50%
Not sure .......................................................... 8%

Q3 If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Chris Christie, who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton.................................................. 42%
Chris Christie .................................................. 44%
Not sure .......................................................... 14%

Q4 If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Ted Cruz, who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton.................................................. 43%
Ted Cruz ......................................................... 50%
Not sure.......................................................... 6%

Q5 If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mike Huckabee, who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton.................................................. 42%
Mike Huckabee ............................................... 50%
Not sure .......................................................... 8%

Q6 If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rand Paul, who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton.................................................. 40%
Rand Paul ....................................................... 50%
Not sure .......................................................... 10%

Q7 If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rick Perry, who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton.................................................. 44%
Rick Perry ....................................................... 49%
Not sure.......................................................... 7%

Q8 Do you think Rick Perry should run for President in 2016, or not?
Think he should .............................................. 23%
Think he should not ........................................ 66%
Not sure .......................................................... 11%

Q9 Do you think Ted Cruz should run for President in 2016, or not?
Think he should .............................................. 32%
Think he should not ........................................ 54%
Not sure .......................................................... 14%

Q10 Texas is eligible to receive new federal funding to pay for health care through the Medicaid program. Do you think the Texas state government should accept this federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage, or not?
Think it should................................................. 49%
Think it should not........................................... 35%
Not sure .......................................................... 16%

Q11 Would you support or oppose raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour?
Support ........................................................... 55%
Oppose ........................................................... 37%
Not sure.......................................................... 8%

Q12 Do you support or oppose the Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to address the issue of male-female income disparity?
Support ........................................................... 50%
Oppose ........................................................... 30%
Not sure .......................................................... 21%

Q13 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? 'Women and men should earn equal pay for equal work.'
Agree .............................................................. 93%
Disagree ......................................................... 4%
Not sure.......................................................... 3%

You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.



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