Poll: Voters ready to sign off on billions for critical infrastructure

Voters across the state express urgency for investments in water, state parks and broadband.

A new survey reveals a sweeping consensus among Texas voters, favoring significant investments in the state’s water systems, state parks and broadband access.

As the clock ticks down to November’s critical vote on 14 constitutional amendments, the newly released results of the 7th Texas Voter Poll, conducted at the end of August by Baselice and Associates for Texas 2036, presents compelling support for legislators’ actions during the regular session to set aside billions of revenue surplus dollars for Texans to vote on to shore up the state’s critical infrastructure.

“Establishing these constitutionally-dedicated funds for investments in the security of our water future, the continued growth and quality of our state parks system and broadband expansion are long-term, high-impact investments in securing our state’s continued economic prosperity,” said A.J. Rodriguez, executive vice president of Texas 2036.

Top Texas Voter Poll Findings: Constitutional Amendments

Lawmakers began this regular session knowing that they had a $32.7 billion revenue surplus available to make generationally impactful investments in the state’s basic infrastructure. In our February survey of Texas voters, overwhelming majorities told us they supported directing significant portions of the revenue surplus to fix aging water infrastructure, build new parks and fix existing parks, and support broadband expansion.

Lawmakers responded, approving with overwhelming, bipartisan majorities the constitutional amendments that will be necessary to make these investments. The next step now belongs with the voters who must decide whether to approve propositions to create constitutionally dedicated funds.

Here’s what our latest voter poll reveals about Texans’ support for these propositions:

  • 74% of Texas voters would vote for the constitutional amendment creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state. This strong level of support for Proposition 6 reflects voters’ interest in developing water supplies in a drought-prone state and fixing our aging, deteriorating water systems. Only 10% of voters surveyed indicated that they would oppose Proposition 6.

Texas Voter Poll pt 2 press release water Q

  • 74% of Texas voters would vote for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks. Parks are an important economic development tool in rural Texas and more than justify this important investment in the maintenance of the current parks system as well as in the system’s future expansion. Just 12% of voters said they would oppose Proposition 14.

Texas Voter Poll pt 2 press release parks Q

  • 53% of Texas voters would vote for creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects. Support for broadband expansion is particularly high among voters younger than 35, with 57% of them saying they would vote for the amendment. In contrast, only 18% of voters said they would not support Proposition 8.

Texas Voter Poll pt 2 press release broadband Q

Rodriguez said, “We found that three-quarters of the surveyed voters, an overwhelming majority, supported these important investments in water and parks funding. Broadband expansion also had majority support from those we polled. However, the numbers also demonstrate the need for us to educate voters on the merits of closing the digital divide.”

Rodriguez continued, “The good news is that Texas voters are telling us the time is now to establish these funds.”

Texas 2036 has collected here what voters need to know about these opportunities to invest in the future of Texas and has additionally compiled an interactive dashboard showing how each region of the state would vote for these propositions.

“These poll data underscore voters’ understanding of the long-term value of critical infrastructure investments — in water, broadband and parks — and recognize the importance of smart, strategic investments for the betterment of future generations,” said Rahul Sreenivasan, policy advisor at Texas 2036.

Top Texas Voter Poll Findings: Extreme Weather

The summer of 2023 regularly featured stories about extreme heat and severe drought conditions across Texas. At the same time, the news media has been reporting on insurance companies raising rates and even leaving other state markets due to worsening extreme weather trends. Texas 2036’s Voter Poll asked voters about their perception of the state’s weather trends. These were the top insights:

  • 87% of Texas voters expressed concern that weather-related events in Texas such as wildfires, floods, drought and hurricanes may increase what they pay for property insurance.

Texas Voter Poll pt 2 press release weather pocketbook Q

  • At the same time, 41% of Texas voters think that Texas’ climate has changed dramatically over the past 10 years.

Texas Voter Poll pt 2 press release climate change Q

“Texans are starting to worry about how extreme weather events could affect their wallets when it comes to insurance premiums,” said Jeremy Mazur, senior policy advisor at Texas 2036. “This suggests voters may be open to state policy changes and investments, such as those for wildfire mitigation, coastal protection, and flood control, that enhance our resilience to extreme weather events.”

Top Texas Voter Poll Findings: Energy

Amid global market volatility and the emergence of new technologies that are changing the energy landscape, we delved into the perspectives of Texas voters about what is important to them during this evolving energy paradigm.

A staggering 97% of Texas voters emphasized the critical need for energy to remain as affordable as possible for all Texans. Voters additionally placed importance on:

  • Identifying ways to support energy innovation — 92%
  • Keeping Texas a leader in producing energy — 91%
  • Ensuring that a move to new energy technologies doesn’t harm state tax revenues and school funding — 89%
  • Maintaining jobs in the oil and gas industry — 85%

Texas Voter Poll pt 2 press release energy priorities

These findings point to Texans thinking practically about any future energy changes, understanding the link between energy prices and pocketbooks, Texas jobs and state revenues.

In another indicator that voters are thinking more about affordability with their energy decisions, 26% of voters say they have considered purchasing an electric vehicle. That’s down slightly from the 29% who were considering such a purchase when we last asked this question in March 2022.

“Texas is intrinsically linked to the ebb and flow of the energy sector,” observed Mazur. “Voters overwhelmingly understand the pivotal role that energy plays in the Texas economy and so they place a high importance on affordability, jobs and state revenues.”

He added, “The voter responses we measured point to an opportunity for advocates for new technologies to explain the impacts of new energy technologies on future costs as well as impacts to the economy and to jobs.”

In the coming months, Texas 2036 will release the results from a year-in-the-making modeling study and interactive dashboard showing how different energy pathways for the state, including an “all of the above” energy expansion and an energy transition focused on renewable energy, could affect the state’s continued economic growth and development.

About the Texas Voter Poll

The poll, conducted by Baselice and Associates, surveyed 1,000 registered Texas voters between Aug. 22 and 29, 2023. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1% and utilized a multi-platform approach including phone interviews (52%), SMS (13%), and online surveys (35%). For detailed poll results, please visit www.texas2036.org/poll.