Friday, April 17, 2009
Thirty-one percent (31%) of Texas voters say that their state has the right to secede from the United States and form an independent country.
However, the latest Rasmussen Reports poll in the state finds that if the matter was put to a vote, it wouldn’t even be close. Three-fourths (75%) of Lone Star State voters would opt to remain in the United States. Only 18% would vote to secede, and seven percent (7%) are not sure what they'd choose.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, in response to a reporter’s question about secession at a protest "tea party," said Wednesday, "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that? But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." The comment was widely reported in the media.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? Sign up now. If it's in the news, it's in our polls.) Rasmussen Reports updates also available on Twitter.
The underlying views of Texans about government are generally similar to those in the rest of the nation. By a 73% to 11% margin, Texans trust the collective judgment of the American people more than the judgment of political leaders.
By a 62% to 21% margin, voters in Perry’s state believe that big business and big government typically work together against the interests of consumers and investors. And, by a 63% to 24% margin, Texans view the federal government itself as a special interest group.
Overall, seven percent (7%) of Texas voters have views that align with America’s Political Class or lean in that direction. Fifty-two percent (52%) of Texans hold views that can be considered populist or Mainstream. Nationally, those figures are seven percent (7%) for the Political Class and 55% for the Mainstream view.
When “leaners” are included, 15% of Texans can be counted as somewhat supportive of the Political Class while 73% hold the opposite perspective.
Texas voters who view the federal government as a special interest group are evenly divided as to whether or not their state has the right to secede. However, two-thirds (64%) of those who view the federal government as a special interest group would still vote to stay in the union rather than secede.
Nationally, the divide between the Mainstream and the Political Class is clear on an issue like immigration. While 66% of voters nationwide say it is Very Important for the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration, just 32% of America’s Political Class agrees.
The secession question was prompted by "tea parties" nationwide on April 15 to express frustration about the high level of new federal government spending. But President Obama has maintained solid approval ratings over the past month in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
In recent weeks, short-term expectations for the economy have improved dramatically, but longer-term expectations have moved in the opposite direction. Sixty percent (60%) of Americans now say it will take three years or longer for housing prices to recover. Confidence in the U.S. banking system is up slightly since February, though.
The Rasmussen Consumer and Investor Indexes, which measure confidence on a daily basis, ended a four-day skid on Friday.
In Texas, Perry finds himself in a challenging environment for reelection as he seeks an unprecedented third consecutive term as governor. Another Republican, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, will be running against him. Hutchison is viewed favorably by 67% of voters statewide, Perry by 55%.
Twenty-five percent (25%) have a Very Favorable opinion of Hutchison while only five percent (5%) of Texas voters have a Very Unfavorable opinion of her. For Perry, the numbers are 19% Very Favorable and 19% Very Unfavorable.
Among Republicans, Hutchison earns positive reviews from 83%, Perry from 78%.
Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free)… let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.
See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs available for Premium Members only.