UT Tyler professors speak on political poll conducted by students

Results revealed that a majority of Texans are conservative, republican, and taking this election seriously
Updated: Oct. 31, 2018 at 7:30 PM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -With just over 1,000 Texans polled, the latest Texas Opinion Survey, which was conducted by students at the University of Texas at Tyler, is revealing a lot about the lone star states voters.

The political science department at the University of Texas at Tyler reveals information about voter behavior.

“In some respects, there were few surprises,” says Kenneth Wink, an Associate Dean at UT Tyler. “Texas is very republican, very conservative, and most of the candidate preferences and the policy preferences reflected that.”


According to the results, when it comes to big ticket candidates, republican incumbent Gregg Abbot has a majority of Texans support but, the outcome of the Texas Senate race isn’t as clear to predict. The senate race shows up as being much closer than other statewide races.

“If we look at the Texas Senate race women are supporting Beto O’Rourke, men overwhelmingly supporting Ted Cruz,” says political science professor Kenneth Bryant Jr. “18 to 24-year old’s support Beto overwhelmingly among the senior citizens 65 plus.”


47% of Texas voters plan on backing republican incumbent, Ted Cruz with the democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke trailing right behind him at 42% and 7 % of voters have yet to decide.

“That keeps it kind of interesting and keeps everybody on their toes,” says student pollster Katie Hicken. “That’s because 7% of people who are undecided in that race can essentially decide the race.”


When it come to policy, republicans are worried about immigration with democrats focused on health care.

“One of the things that we found interesting is that on the issue of immigration and border security Texans very much like east Texans do want secure borders,” says Wink. “However, they are willing to consider a guest worker program, so this is a nuances issue and there are a number of ways of looking at it.”

Texas voters all seem to agree on the importance of voting in the upcoming election. 56 % of those polled said that voting for congress in the upcoming midterms was extremely important.

“It’s very much in line with the way the discussion is being had nationally,” says Bryant Jr. “It’s pretty much what we expected in terms of results from our polls here in Texas.”

UT Tyler professors say they plan to further examine the data and look at how East Texans political views compare to the views of voters around the rest of the state.

Related: UT Tyler professors explain ‘science’ behind statewide political poll

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