Poll: How Texas voters feel about Abbott's migrant buses
Gov. Greg Abbott has found a message that resonates with Republican voters as he campaigns hard over border security and immigration while keeping quiet on dicier issues like abortion and gun violence.
The big picture: Even as his Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke narrows the gap, Abbott's prolonged focus on the border appears to be paying off, according to new polling from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.
- 52% of voters support Abbott's decision to bus migrants to Democrat-controlled cities, per the latest poll.
- Republicans overwhelmingly approve of the busing policy with 80% in support of it, including 62% who express "strong support."
- A majority of Democrats — 62% — oppose the move, but 22% support it.
Catch up quick: Abbott has received sharp criticism across the country as he continues to bus thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago with no notice.
- The trips have cost the state millions of dollars.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the move a "unilateral political stunt," and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency in response to the thousands of migrants arriving in the city.
The bottom line: The policy is "undeniably popular" with the Republican base, even as it attracts widespread criticism, James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin and a co-director of the poll, told Axios.
- "The antagonistic nature of the policy plays well with the large swath of GOP voters who see border security and reducing immigration to Texas as major election issues," Henson added.
Dig deeper: How Democratic mayors are preparing to be Abbott's next target
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