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Report: Traversing Texas

A Look into What Gives in the Longhorn State

Future Majority, Way to Win, Worthy Strategy Group, LLC, Autonomy Strategies : January 2022

Partnered by:



Multiracial voters, even in the Dem base, don’t feel valued by their government and don’t feel the positive impact of the Biden Administration in their lives. The concrete benefits of the Biden economy, American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure bill should be played on a broken record across Texas. 


Voters feel that Gov. Abbott overstepped by passing “reckless” laws like permitless open carry, the anti-abortion law and the prohibition of mask mandates. Freedom and safety were huge themes in what voters care about, from the desire to legalize marijuana to concerns about school shootings.


Democrats need to be prepared to speak to the issue of safe communities with these voters (which includes crime, COVID, school shootings). Views on crime were mixed – many participants felt safe in their communities but thought crime was bad elsewhere, while others (AAPI, Suburban Latino, Suburban Black) did not feel safe in their communities.


Voters were dismayed by the increased cost of living – especially housing and healthcare – and failing of infrastructure, particularly the electrical grid and education system. Increasing funding for schools was a runaway winner in an exercise that enabled voters to design their own state budget. Texas energy politics are challenging, but Dems have an opportunity to  lead on the build out of sustainable energy infrastructure, which appealed to these voters, especially young voters.


For voters living around the border, anxiety still looms large, and they are looking for leaders to embrace some kind of immigration reform. Many voters empathized with immigrants and people crossing the border, while many, especially Latino voters in border areas, felt that this had led to “chaos,” and wanted clearly established rules and more order.


wide open desert road

Who: We worked with n=80 voters who self-identified as holding very liberal to moderately conservative views, including mostly Biden voters. There were some Trump voters, who expressed interest in voting in the midterms and a willingness to vote for Democrats. Both native and non-native Texans were represented in our sample.

Our voters included:

  • Border Voters – Voters from the Border counties of Texas
  • Non-College Color – Non-College voters of Color (AAPI/Latinos/Black)
  • Non-College White – White Non-College Voters
  • Youth Vote – 18-29 year old voters across Texas
  • Suburban AAPI – AAPI suburban voters across Texas
  • Suburban Black – Black suburban voters across Texas
  • Suburban Latinos – Latino/a suburban voters across Texas
  • Suburban White – White suburban voters across Texas

Border Voters


For our Border folks, it’s all about order – keeping things safe, tidy, and within the rules. These voters deeply care about providing for their families and keeping them safe. They are VERY patriotic.


  • Outside forces ruining their plans, whether it’s a health crisis, an economic crash, a big storm, or crime.
  • Unemployment

Future Dreams

  • Financial freedom & stability – Great jobs for all and affordable living
  • Healthy families and clean air and water for them
  • American prosperity to show the world we’re tops

Youth Voters


Our young voters have big dreams they want to achieve. Living the hustle life, these voters value family and taking care of themselves, achievement, and financial success. They’re well aware of a lack of investment in themselves and America’s future, and more than anything, want a country that invests in them.


  • Climate Change (Wildfires, Corporate pollution)
  • An unfair justice system and  racism/injustice
  • US being a target because of its success

Future Dreams

  • A clean & healthy planet
  • Equality & everyone working together
  • Excellent education & opportunities

Non-College Color


For these voters, stability and health were incredibly important. These voters value being able to provide for their families, so cost of living is a top concern. They also strongly value safety and freedom.


  • Lawlessness and crime
  • Losing the ability to keep up with the bills
  • Environment, pollution, and climate change
  • Racism

Future Dreams

  • Clean air, clean cities/slowing climate change
  • Advanced technology & innovation
  • A better economy & a lower cost of living
  • Equality
Non-College Color

Non-College White


Our Non-College White voters want to feel valued and attended to and value their families, their faith, and their time. They want to see government protect them without overstepping.


  • Financially struggling and Healthcare costs
  • Rising crime
  • The Earth being threatened by corporations & trash
  • The United States being a target because we are successful

Future Dreams

  • A clean & healthy planet
  • Living unburdened with family
  • Everyone working together

Suburban Latino


Our Suburban Latinos highly value their families, safety (a HUGE concern around their kids), finances, and faith. These voters often don’t feel like they see results for the taxes they pay and long to be recognized by and attended to by government.


  • The physical safety of their children and families
  • Crime and war – Reckless gun use
  • Trump spreading hate
  • Pollution and climate change

Future Dreams

  • A more connected community
  • Quality health and safety for everyone
  • More jobs with benefits, great pay

Suburban AAPI


Our Suburban AAPI highly value their families and think A LOT about a better future for their families, which includes concerns about safety (crime concerns were HUGE), health and the cost of healthcare, access to clean air and water, kids’ education and achieving the American dream.


  • A destroyed planet (plastic usage, pollution)
  • Too much technology (robots taking over future jobs)
  • Kids safety (crime, drugs, school shootings)
  • Political upheaval (state of the United States)

Future Dreams

  • Happy family with quality education for kids
  • Going green (clean air, sustainable companies)
  • Achieving financial freedom
  • Enjoying life with easier travel

Surburban Black


Our Black Suburban voters value their family, their ability to freely achieve financial and career success and build wealth for future generations, and their safety from crime. These voters often characterize government as a picker of winners/losers and feel the system is broken for them.


  • Senseless African American deaths/injustice
  • Racism and the school to prison pipeline
  • Lack of government help
  • Housing insecurity

Future Dreams

  • More jobs
  • A place to grow and thrive (clean environment)
  • COVID being taken seriously

Suburban White


Our Suburban White voters value their families and kids’ future, respect for people, rules, and nation, good jobs and financial freedom. They highly value control and are chaos-averse, and are very concerned about government overstepping, valuing freedom from government intrusion.


  • Uncertainty about the future and its role in it
  • Race and class divisions
  • Climate Change
  • Lack of control/power being exported

Future Dreams

  • Better future for kids
  • Equality & justice
  • Peaceful, healthy earth
  • Well-paying, good US Jobs

Party Perception

wide open desert road


While many indicated that Democrats represented 

Opportunity and innovation into the future, helping others and caring more for everyday people (not just the rich).

Many also saw Democrats as being takers like “Robin Hood,” being too compassionate and soft, leading to disorder and the loss of freedom and peace, and talking a big game, but ultimately being just like Republicans.

They also expressed concerns that Democrats’ focus on color had gone so far that Democrats had become racist and divisive, themselves.

Many also saw Democrats as being takers like “Robin Hood,” being too compassionate and soft, leading to disorder and the loss of freedom and peace, and talking a big game, but ultimately being just like Republicans.

They also expressed concerns that Democrats’ focus on color had gone so far that Democrats had become racist and divisive, themselves.

new york city and farmland houses
PA map and traffic on the highway


For our voters, Republicans were perceived as family and freedom focused, drivers of economic growth, associated with delivering jobs for Americans and loving America/patriotism.

The party was also associated with law and order and strength, particularly when it came to controlling China and enforcing rules with immigration.

Republicans were also strongly associated with puppets (e.g. “Trump’s puppets”), described as money obsessed and characterized as business-serving, even to the detriment of human life.

Additionally, Republicans were characterized as “blind” to the problems around them, for “whites only,” self-serving and chaotic, having gone too far right (“a dangerous path”) and always “fighting not fixing,” creating distractions for the American people instead of delivering solutions. 

new york city and farmland houses

Our methodology

Get more information about our distinctive research techniques.

What people think of the Biden-Harris Administration

Our Texas voters are attracted to the Biden-Harris administration’s normalcy. After the messiness of the Trump administration, having caring, professional leaders who aren’t actively sowing hatred and division is refreshing, and lends itself to the perception of Biden and Harris as fundamentally good people.

They Care About Me & Want to Help Improve my Life

“In the early days of COVID our state worked hard to provide necessary aid for everyone, including Food Banks, Clothing, and updates to vaccine availability. It was very encouraging to see state and local governments come together.” Carol, Small College Town

“He tried to keep everything together during COVID. How he tried to make communities aware of what was going on, and was consistent even with the backlash he received. People were more worried about their money than they were about people’s lives.” Angela, Allegheny/Philadelphia

And are Professional & Restoring the Country’s Reputation

“I voted for President Biden because I don’t like how Trump acted. The way he presented himself on TV is very unprofessional and he said a lot of crazy things.” Dylan, Youth Vote

“Biden and Harris were more appropriate for the job. I was so happy to get Trump out. He’s a total buffoon and embarrassed this country so many times and would tweet insensitive and embarrassing things. The way he incited a riot!” Amanda, Suburban Black

They’re Good People who Don’t Actively Try to Divide the Country…

“Trump is homophobic. He got rid of protections for LGBT people in the workplace. He supports deportations and family separations for immigrants… The border wall has always left a bad taste in my mouth… It’s something that breeds hatred and extremity from his followers… He is misogynistic, racist… It was kind of an easy decision for me [to vote for Biden.]”  Victoria C., Non-College White

“The previous administration was steeped in division and racial tension and hate and needed to go… So it was time for change. President Biden was that change.” Adrienne, Suburban Black

While much has been made about career politicians recently, a majority of our participants see Biden’s political experience as a good thing. And with our first African and Asian-American vice president, non-white Texas voters feel like an administration is finally inclusive of people like them, and working in their interest.

Biden is an Experienced Politician Who Knows How to Get Things Done!

“Biden was more for the people, he had experience and also more than anything, he was a former politician who understood how to work with other people.” Tyler, Youth Vote

“He had a good track record working with Obama. The jobs they brought in, all the immigration regulations, such as DACA …I voted for President Biden because he was gonna continue Obama’s legacy and… make our country greater.” Luis, Border

“He’s not new to the show and I think he’s got a good understanding for how government works and what needs to be done.” Richard, Non-College White

They’re Inclusive of People like Me, and Don’t View Me as Lesser because of My Skin Color

“I think they treat people with more respect and equally than the previous government.” Nausheen, Suburban AAPI

“They are accepting of non-white viewpoints.” Erica D., Suburban Latino

“They care about me and people like me, they value everyone’s opinion and equality.” Joel, Suburban Latino

“The Biden/Harris administration wants more people like me to feel included.” Markenya, Non-College Color

However, the apathy (and outrage) of some Texas voters can’t be ignored – inaction coupled with unkept promises has left them feeling like the administration is unresponsive to their wants and needs. And, feeling the effects of rising prices and inflation, apathy gives way to anger.

They’ve Caused Gas Prices to Rise & Inflation is Out of Control

“With the rising inflation, lack of goods, border crisis, rising of gas prices, etc… I would say we have had a better administration.” – Paige, Suburban White

“It has meant more inflation, hindering our progress as a country… Gas prices have hit my wallet as well, and I feel annoyed and can’t wait for elections.” – Abraham, Border

Have Fallen Flat on their Promises

“I had very high hopes. I was excited to see how much Biden can achieve, but I’m a little disappointed.” – Rashmeen, Suburban AAPI

“Overall I don’t have much to say about the administration. There’s a lot that they said they would do that they haven’t done.” – Meaghan, Non-College White

“I am not impressed with what they are doing now compared to their promises.” – Anthony, Suburban Black

They’re Stagnant – Not Taking Action & Haven’t Made an Impact

“I have mixed feelings as they haven’t done much to make an impact.” – Juan, Border

“I feel like they have a lot of improvement to do and they’re running out of time.” – Taqui, Suburban AAPI

“[They] need to be better.” – Rafael, Border

“I think they are good but definitely need to do more work in order to see bigger changes.” – Kassandra, Suburban White

The Biden-Harris administration would be better for me if they…

Fixed the Economy & Put More Money in my Pocket

“Take better care of nation’s economy because it can derail the future for families. Although we are exiting a tough and unusual time, results are showing they are not making better decisions.” – Mario, Suburban Latino

“Advocated for teachers because we need to be paid more. Teachers are first responders, nurses, moms, dads, counselors, etc! We need better pay to live with this inflation!”– Jennifer S., Suburban White

“Raise minimum wage because this will provide healthier lifestyles and help in the poorer communities. Less hunger and crime.” – LaChandra, Suburban Black

Came to & Spent More Time in Texas to Understand What it’s Really Like

“[The Biden-Harris administration would be better if they] would spend some time in Texas… [it’s] a great state with so many opinions and so many values, but we get overlooked because yes, this is a gun-toting state with lots of morals.” – Tammy K., Non-College White

“I do not think Texas is on their priority list.” – Mario F., Suburban Latino

“They don’t understand anything about Texas because they don’t come here.” – Michael C., Youth Vote

Got Serious about Solving the Struggles We’re Facing

Taxed the upper class because the middle class is struggling. We have to work lots of hours and they take lots of taxes.” – Jessika, Border

Were more progressive because policy making at this rate is too slow. To solve the problems facing our country today, drastic steps must be taken to ensure that our liberties and freedoms are not attacked and taken from us.” – Michael K., Non-College White

Fought harder for the green new deal because it would really get me pumped for our future. I’m stressed out about climate change if you couldn’t tell.” – Evan O., Suburban Latino

Listened to the People – I Want to feel Like My Opinion is Being Heard

“Would factor in my personal opinion to deliver legislation because as any other individual, I feel that my opinion matters. If everyone has their opinion factored in, the legislation can utilize the majority as the favorable decision to make legislation.” – Richard, Non-College White

“Listened because people have a voice… I wish the Biden administration was open to listening to what the people have to say.” – Soniya, Suburban AAPI

“Would actually listen to what works in each state because it’s not a one size fits all solution. I feel like Biden talks about uniting the country but he keeps creating more of a divide with his policies.” – Chad, Suburban White

Impact of the Biden Administration

How Strongly Do You Agree or Disagree with the Following Statement:

I can see the impact of the Biden administration’s actions on my life.

Feeling the Impact of the Biden-Harris Administration

50% of Texas voters said the Biden-Harris administration has impacted their life for the better by…

Getting the Pandemic Under Control

“They set up the vaccine mandate to ensure the well being of everyone.” – Luis, Border

“The Biden/Harris administration implemented an aggressive vaccine rollout for mass distribution, including children 5 [and up].” – Monica, Suburban Black

“Biden/Harris administration brings economy stability and normality with COVID challenges [that] will bring better results for us.” – Asma A., Suburban AAPI

Putting More Money in my Pocket

“They have made it better with the stimulus payments, the vaccines, and the support of growing and helping people and not just corporations.” – Joel, Suburban Latino

“He’s helping me keep food on the table and pay rent.” – Jessika, Border

“By giving us more tax breaks and lowering taxes.” – Carmen, Suburban Latino

Advocating for Respect & Equality, and Setting a Good Example, too!

“I no longer have to worry that the federal government is trying to pass laws to take my rights away or oppress people I love.” – Victoria, Non-College White

“The Biden administration has positively impacted my life. They are honorable and possess integrity. I feel like our country is on the way toward healing and unity.” – Amanda, Suburban Black

“It calmed down the racism in the white house.” – Michael C., Youth Vote

50% of Texas voters said the Biden-Harris administration has impacted their life not at all or for the worse because of…

Rising Prices & Inflation Everywhere I Look

“I think they have impacted my life in a negative way by allowing inflation to get out of control and therefore raise the prices of consumer goods… I believe this administration set out with good intent, [but] the prices of goods and services and basic energy have gone through the roof. I can see the effects of this administration stance on energy particularly oil and gas every time I pay my bills.” – Jennifer S., Suburban White

“Costs have gone up for everything – gas,  food, electricity.” – Abigail, Border

A Lack of Action – They Just Haven’t Done Anything and that’s the Problem!

“It has not really played much of a difference as they have not really delivered their promises yet. They actually have made things more expensive so far especially with gas prices.” – Justin, Non-College Color

“They haven’t impacted my life at all which is a part of the problem.” – Samantha W., Non-College Color

“I have seen very little impact so far from the current administration. It seems as if they over promised and are under delivering.” – Brandon, Non-College White  

“Everything is all talk so far.” – Rahim, Suburban AAPI

How Strongly Do You Agree or Disagree with the Following Statement:

Since Biden took office, I wish more would have changed.


Some of our Texas voters were neutral on this question, noting that Biden is doing what he can, it’s still early in his presidency, and Republicans are hell bent on preventing his agenda from coming to fruition.

They’re Doing What They Can with the Slim Majority They Have

“I feel like Biden is working as hard as he can to help out the population that needs it most.” – Jessika, Border

“He has been working hard on what he said he would do. And the Republicans are the ones holding him back.” – Luis, Border

“I think Biden’s government is facing hindrance, hence slowing down the recovery process.” – Nausheen, Suburban AAPI

“He had a great campaign. I wish the senate and house would come together and allow his vision to be implemented.” – Adrienne, Suburban Black

& It’s Still Early in His Presidency!

“We still have more to see from him.” – Maria, Non-College Color

“While I don’t think Biden has done much in office, it is difficult for an individual to feel the impact either positively or negatively in such a short time frame.” – Brandon, Non-College White

“I feel like he is doing what he can. He has only been in office a few months and has tackled many tasks.” – Samantha S., Suburban White

“I’m ok with what has changed so far. He can only do so much it hasn’t been that long yet, I will give it more time.” – Tressa, Youth Vote

However, more of our participants agreed, wanting to see more change than what has, or has not, taken place, namely implementing more progressive policies and doing something about the rising prices Texans see affecting their pocketbooks. All in all, the lack of positive change has left a lingering feeling that Biden’s presidency is not what it promised to be.

Fixing Things Fast

“My wife is an immigrant (dreamer, came here at age 3) and she wanted me to cast a vote thinking he would fix her situation ASAP.” – Mazz, Non-College Color

“I think things are going very well. I wish things could be a little better with more demand[ing of] mask requirements if you are vaccinated or not.” – Kendria, Suburban Black

“There are certain issues I wish were brought into light more, such as climate change.” – Humza, Youth Vote

So Overall, this Presidency isn’t What I Thought it Would Be

Not what I was expecting. I would prefer Trump honestly right now.” – Reyna, Non-College Color

“I think that Biden made promises he couldn’t keep and has not done what he said he would.” – Meaghan, Non-College White

“I really do wish more would have changed, but for the better, not the way it’s’ going right now. I feel like he has good intentions with what he is doing but he’s executing it very poorly.” – Chad, Suburban White

& Intervening on Rising Costs to Help Me Financially

“I wish he could have intervened on rising gas prices and food supply chain shortages.” – Justin, Non-College Color

“The child credit and housing credit are all I can think of. I need more.” – Evan O., Suburban Latino

“I feel like economically he’s destroyed everything. I wish he would have left everything how it was.” – Erica DLT, Youth Vote

Government and Change

Critical Watchout

How Strongly Do You Agree or Disagree with the Following Statement:

The Distractor

In the minds of our voters, Governor Abbott was described as a partisan governor and a “king,” catering to the whims of the Republican party, the far right, and external businesses, over the needs of all Texans, without accountability.

While some felt that Governor Abbott had done a good job for Texas economically, many, especially voters of color, felt that his social viewpoints were outdated, that he didn’t care for them or anyone, and that he was a politician who “does what’s best for him and his buddies.” Some even characterized Abbott as retaliatory, punishing the voters of Texas with extreme laws (like permitless open carry, the abortion law, and the anti-mask mandate action), while others described him as a distractor, stirring the pot of identity politics to take voters’ attention away from real issues on the ground, like infrastructure, the cost of living, or healthcare.


As I head into the 2022 gubernatorial election, I keep thinking about…

The 6-Week Abortion Ban & Women’s Rights

“It’s important to repeal the abortion ban.” – Kassandra, Suburban White

“I hope women get their rights back.” – Maaz, Non-College Color

“Repealing Greg Abbott’s law that women can’t get an abortion after 6 weeks.” – Victoria, Non-College White

“Make Texas a pro choice state.” – Rashmeen, Suburban AAPI

Gun Control & Getting Rid of Open Carry Laws

“I hope… that we will have more gun control laws restricting gun use.” – Humza, Youth Vote

“I wish we would do something about the open carry law.” – Rashmeen, Suburban AAPI

“Gun violence.” – Ivan, Suburban Latino

“I feel worried about gun carrying laws… There have been school shootings very close to my home.” – Asma K., Suburban Latino

Immigration & The Border, Any Way You Slice It 

“Immigration, who is going to take care of this issue in the border?” – Jessika, Border

“Immigration is one main thing I want a change in in 2022.”  – Alex, Non-College Color

“Border control!” – Jennifer S., Suburban White

“Immigration policy.” – Erica D., Suburban Latino

“Border control.” – John, Suburban White

Pocketbook Issues

“Lower taxes.” – Hector, Suburban Latino

“An increase to the minimum wage.” – Michael K., Non-College White

“Income and food prices.” – David, Border

“Higher minimum wage.” – Marissa, Non-College Color

As I head into the 2022 gubernatorial election, I keep thinking about a leader who puts the people of Texas and their needs first, not personal aspirations or donor priorities.

The 6-Week Abortion Ban & Women’s Rights

“The next coming governor needs to be in sync with what the state needs.” – Mario, Suburban Latino

“I want a governor who actually understands what Texas really is. Our biggest issue is roads that are hazardous and potholes and we need to fix that first because it’s messing up our cars and  nobody likes that.” – Taqui, Suburban AAPI

“I just want a candidate that will listen to all his Texans. A candidate that will make Texans’ health a priority. A candidate that won’t politicize everything.”- Daisey, Suburban Latino

“A governor who wants what’s best for the state, who doesn’t try to put his donors ahead of the state.” – Chad, Suburban White

“Everything opposite of what Greg Abbott has been doing. I want a Governor who will actually seem like he cares about Texans.” – Wikas, Youth Vote

A Freer, Safer Texas

Because “Winter is Coming” and for so many other reasons, our Texas voters spent a lot of time talking about the need for working infrastructure. The “February Freeze” event of 2021 was still fresh on their minds and an example of how Texas needs to be improve everything from its power grid to its highways and beyond. Many indicated that the power grid should not be privatized and expressed frustration that the grid, even with a cold winter ahead, had still not been fixed.

Additionally, voters called out the need for better, more accessible public transportation, saying that inter-city transportation (between Dallas to Houston, San Antonio to Austin, etc.) and in lower-income communities was critical. They also indicated that transportation, in general, should be made more efficient, energy-wise. Across the board, voters could all agree that they both love and wanted more parks.

For voters, infrastructure was not just about going from here to there, it was knowing if their government valued them – or not.

Working Infrastructure Now and Into the Future

A significant number of our voters were concerned about safety and freedom. Between the rise of crime (physical threats, break-ins), the ongoing pandemic, school shootings, and the new permitless open-carry law that had parents in a panic, voters indicated that Texas felt particularly unsafe to them. Suburban Latinos, Suburban AAPI, and Suburban Black voters, in particular, called out big concerns around safety.

Voters also called out the feeling that they were less free as a result of these safety threats, causing them to modify their behavior, in addition to the freedom-limiting abortion law that restricted choices for women in the state.

It’s worth noting that the safety that our voters were looking for wasn’t the hand-holding, coddling kind of safety. They fully understood what Texas was. What they were looking for was the shutting down of unnecessary chaos inflicted on them by people looking more to prove a point than taking care of people.

Texa(n)s First

Our Texas voters placed a great deal of pride in the self-reliance of Texans and in the ability to achieve in the face of adversity. And yet, the state government’s push to attract outsiders into the state has caused an unusual level of adversity in the form of significantly increased cost of living and housing prices. Our voters talked about outsiders coming in, whether they be from the border or recruited in by companies or coming over from California and Nevada and were frustrated that they weren’t appreciated and that their needs weren’t being attended to first over these outsiders.

Our voters longed for a Texas that values its people first (especially non-college whites) – that invests in them through policies and programs (especially AAPI, youth votes) like education and jobs for the future. Our voters wanted to know that they were getting something for their taxes (especially Suburban Latinos) and that Texas was investing in them.

Perceptions of Work and Work Ethic

How Strongly Do You Agree or Disagree with the Following Statement:

The Democratic party delivers more for the American worker than the Republican party.

Democrats vs. Republicans: Who’s better for the American worker?

While Democrats were seen as being generally more for worker protections, our Texan voters also see their efforts (i.e., unemployment assistance) as hindering productivity, even having the opposite result than intended.

Democrats – They Fight for Workers’ Rights…

“The Democrats have shown time and time again they are willing to give the breaks to people that work and need them, while the Republican party is only trying to cut benefits and save taxes and help businesses out, which never trickle down to the workers.” – Joel, Suburban Latino

“The Democratic party fights more for workers’ rights and equality for all.– Kassandra, Suburban White  

& Their Efforts to Help are Actually Inhibiting Workers’ Independence

“It is true the Democratic party gives too much. They need to let the people get back to work.– John, Suburban White

“Republicans help workers more than Democrats. Sad but true. Democrats provide WAY too many handouts and only work to DISCOURAGE people from working… The system is set up for people to win by being lazy.” – Adrienne, Suburban Black

But it’s just an Illusion that they’re Better (& Republicans aren’t, Either)

“The idea that the Democratic party delivers more for the American worker than the Republican party is an illusion in my opinion. Although they do make attempts to increase wages for American workers and incentives for American businesses, those increases equate to inflation and higher tax. So increased inflation and higher tax really don’t equate to higher progress.– Jennifer G., Non-College White

“I honestly feel both parties don’t really care about the American worker, they just see them as a paycheck.– Chad, Suburban

Which Political Party is Better for the Economy?

By a close margin, our participants believe that Democrats are better for the economy, getting nods for their egalitarian economic views & their openness to new ideas. However, Republicans were lauded for their business acumen and keeping jobs in the USA.

46% of participants say that Democrats are better for the economy

“The Democrats because they pass laws and rules that benefits the normal everyday people, who spend that money and help the economy grow.” – Joel, Suburban Latino

“I feel like the Democratic Party is better for the economy because they have a broader way of looking at things. They are open to new ideas which can be beneficial for the people, especially the youth.” – Soniya, Suburban AAPI

“I believe Democrats are better for economic growth. Republican policy focuses more on short term profits, than long term gains.” – Michael K., Non-College White

39% of participants say that Republicans are better for the economy

“Republicans are much better for the economy compared to Democrats, considering Democrats care more about our rights and equality whereas I feel Republicans are more business-oriented and care about our economic status.” – Nadine, Non-College White

“The Republican party because they value building businesses in the US and restricting trade with China and other countries that look to take advantage of the debt.” – Justin, Non-College Color

“The Republican Party does more to expand jobs in our country, gives tax breaks, and wants more work given to Americans rather than exported offshore.” – Paige, Suburban White


How Strongly Do You Agree or Disagree with the Following Statement:

The Trump administration did a better job with the border than the current one. (All Groups)

The Trump administration did a better job with the border than the current one. (Within Groups)

Chaotic & Uncontrolled

Citing the recent influx of immigrants at the border, a minority of our participants (including near all border voters) sees the situation at the border as representative of a bigger problem: a chaotic and uncontrolled system (or lack thereof) where the masses of people trying to enter the US are overwhelming our border.

“I selected this image of a disaster to symbolize the US-Mexico border crisis. We must support our border patrol and continue to fund their efforts. We must stand behind our border patrol and not allow the media to downplay the significance of their work. The wall is not a solution as tunnels have been in existence for decades. We need to rely on advanced technologies to monitor and secure our borders. It is not only Latinos who are illegally entering. It is not only people seeking a better life who are illegally entering. We need to know who is entering and what their true motivation for entering is.”

– Jennifer G., Non-College White

“I think the current situation and the way that immigration was handled with the transfer of powers between the Trump and Biden administrations created a big influx of new immigrants and overwhelmed the border.”

– Chad, Suburban White

“Border control is very weak and needs to be strengthened. It is now just a… big opening for all to enter.”

– Alex Non-College Color

Inhumane Treatment

Bringing in images of children alone, behind bars & in cages, a majority of our non-border participants took issue with the way we treat immigrants, other human beings, as less than human. Particularly upsetting was the separation of families, viewed as a morally reprehensible practice, as were the general deplorable conditions of processing centers.

I don’t think humans, period, should be in cages like this. It hurts me to see people like this looking for a better environment to live.” – Rafael, Border

“People come here for a better future for them and their children. We need to stop treating them inhumanly and give these people a chance. This makes me feel so sad because this country is not helping people.” – Reyna, Non-College Color

“The border issues have been handled with disgrace and no dignity. This is a disgrace to the country as a whole. Why would anyone think it makes sense to put a human, especially a child, in a cage. This is disgusting. Anyone who could conceive of such a thing is a sick and twisted individual.” – Adrienne, Suburban Black

“People still need to be treated equally & we know that they are not being treated equally at the border just because they are an immigrant. Kids being separated from their families, it’s just not right.” – Tressa, Youth Vote

“Our country treats criminals better than those trying to find a better life.” – Michael K., Non-College White

Helping Those In Search of a Better Life

A majority of our participants were sympathetic (to some degree) with immigrants coming to the US, believing that trying to achieve a better life for your family is something to be applauded, not shamed. 

“I found this abstract art piece and I think it represents the unity that we should feel with immigrants. Even if it was 300 years ago, the majority of people’s families immigrated here, many to escape oppression, and we conquered and took over. Most immigrants are only asking for a chance at a better life here and we need to deal with the border crisis with a lot more compassion and humanity. We are the same, even if we seem different on the outside. Immigrants make our society better and we can all grow together and work together.” – Victoria, Non-College White

“We need to help out and give people opportunities.” – Lesley, Suburban Latino

“We should be helping them get a better life, really, and not shaming them for trying to get their families a better future. They’re coming here for help, not shame.” – Nadine, Non-College White

How Strongly Do You Agree or Disagree with the Following Statement:

All Americans benefit from the innovation and hard work of immigrants, we should be kind hearted and treat others how we want to be treated, especially if that means allowing more immigrants in America. (All Groups Ranking)

All Americans benefit from the innovation and hard work of immigrants, we should be kind hearted and treat others how we want to be treated, especially if that means allowing more immigrants in America. (Voter Groups)


Why We’re Seeing So Much Crime

Safety as a theme is huge in Texas, and those experiencing increased levels of crime in their lives are grappling with what’s happening and how to stop it. Below are the four major narratives about crime in Texas.

Pandemic & Financial Induced Crimes

“More people are turning to illegal activity just to get by, I feel this way because I see it happening.” – Samantha W., Non-College Color

“It has gone up especially with the pandemic as more are out of work. We see more petty crimes such as burglaries.” – Justin, Non-College Color

“In some parts of Texas the crime is very high especially in the low income areas… I feel they don’t care because they’re low income.” – Reyna, Non-College Color

“I feel like crime has gotten worse lately. With the pandemic, people have become more desperate and crime has risen.” – Wikas, Youth Vote

It’s the Guns! The Open Carry Law

“With more guns and less laws it is increasing.” – Alex, Non-College Color

“I feel fairly safe, but it does worry me that so many people own guns and are allowed to carry them freely. There is always a thought in the back of my mind that anyone could be carrying a firearm.” – Fahad, Youth Vote

“The open carry law has made crime go up significantly.” – Amanda, Suburban Black






Law & Order

“Defunding police?? Who are these people?? Why?? It just promotes criminals to do more crime.” – Olga, Border

“It’s getting worse but it depends on where you live what area. Austin defunded the police but here in Houston we have police.” – Janel, Suburban White




It’s the Outsiders!

“There’s more crime in Texas than there was before. Not only do we have thousands of people we cannot account for or identify because of the illegal situation, we have citizens of Texas who are continuing to perpetuate crime who are out on bond sometimes out on numerous bonds continuing to perpetuate crime.” – Jennifer G., Non-College Whites

“Getting worse because of racial divide and immigrants coming across the border.” -Jennifer S., Suburb White





Three Communities Especially Sensitive to Crime: Suburban Latino, AAPI, & Black Voters

Of all the communities we studied, Suburban Latinos, Suburban AAPI, and Suburban Black voters brought up concerns around safety and crime the most. Suburban Black voters tended to talk about a broken system where nothing was done to prevent “too many people of color dying every day.” 

Suburban Latino Voters

 “It’s getting scary – too many people being homeless and people from Louisiana brought all this [crime] back in 2003 when the hurricane hit too many black people around this area, fuxkimg shit up and made it bad.” – Hector, Suburban Latino

 “The crime rate is horrible! It has doubled since our wonderful governor has allowed people to purchase guns without a background check.  Everyone is gun happy shooting people just because.” – Carmen, Suburban Latino

“I have noticed more road rage shooting, to home invasions. I hear more gunshots in our neighborhood than before. I feel that I have to purchase a gun to keep my family safe.” – Ivan, Suburban Latino

Suburban Black Voters

“Crime is horrible – too many people of color dying every day. The system is failing our community every day.” – Kendria, Suburban Black

“Texas crime has increased by 100%.” -Victoria, Suburban Black

“I think it’s getting worse. Everyone is angry and there’s no gun control or true punishment for crime. The system is broken and politicians are more interested in staying untouched and unbothered in their glass castle than they are in bringing about changes to a broken system.” – Adrienne, Suburban Black



Suburban AAPI Voters

 “Crime is getting worse. Especially when you are coming out with new laws where you can carry a gun anywhere.” – Taqui, Suburban AAPI

“Houston is now ranked as murder capital almost like Chicago. Which wasn’t like this in the past. So it’s getting worse.” – Arjun, Suburban AAPI

“I see more crimes happening close to me which is scary and dangerous.” – Azra, Suburban AAPI

“Our mailboxes are being robbed, car windows are being broken,  Break ins are on rise and shootings are  increased. The government should do more.” – Asma, Suburban AAPI

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