American Values Atlas

Texans, not surprisingly, are more conservative than the rest of the nation and hold sharply divided beliefs on same-sex marriage and abortion, but a new survey found the state overwhelmingly supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who live here illegally.

The annual American Values Atlas, put together by the non-profit Public Religion Research Institute, questioned 2,807 Texans on how they self-identify politically and on their opinions of select issues. The survey was made public Wednesday. 

As one might expect, the survey found Texans identify themselves slightly more conservative than the rest of the nation, with 41 percent of the sample describing themselves as conservative, with just 26 percent as liberal, and 27 percent moderate.

Those in the survey said they were 26 percent Democrat, 24 percent Republican and 42 percent independent. It’s those independent conservatives who have kept the state Republican in the elections of the past two decades.

The survey found Texans pretty evenly divided on the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion. While 48 percent supported same-sex marriage, 43 percent opposed it, and because of the margin of error, that essentially is a tie. Similarly, 49 percent of those questioned favored legal abortions, and 48 percent opposed them.

Where Texans really seemed to split from Republican positions was on the issue of how to deal with undocumented immigrants already living in the country.

A whopping 59 percent of the survey said the immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States and be given a path to citizenship, and another 21 percent said the immigrants should be allowed to remain in the U.S. but not receive citizenship. A small 17 percent said the immigrants should be identified and deported. 

One aspect of the survey that was interesting outside of Texas is the fact in 19 states white Christians now make up less than half the population.