Prior to the terrorist attacks carried out last week in Paris and Beirut, voters in Texas had identified foreign terrorist groups and illegal immigration as the greatest threats facing the United States, the most recent poll from the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune has revealed.
22% of those responding to the survey selected illegal immigration as their top concern from a list of possible threats to the US, followed by 18% choosing foreign terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Issues trailing behind the top two included decaying infrastructure, unfriendly overseas nations, political polarization and gun violence.
“Even before the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, Texans expressed deep concern over border security,” says the co-director of the poll, Daron Shaw, who is a University of Texas professor of government in Austin. “I may be going out on a limb here, but I doubt Texas voters agree with Bernie Sanders’ statement [in Saturday’s Democratic debate] that climate change represents a more urgent threat than jihadist terrorism.”
Those who identify as Democrats were less inclined to see immigration as a threat; however, this issue was listed first not only by 36% of Republicans but also by 18% of independent voters. All three groups chose foreign terrorist groups as one of the most serious threats, with 21% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 14% of Democrats believing this issue is the number one threat facing the United States.