Texas Lyceum poll says likely voters list education as top concern

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By Lety Laurel
Managing Editor, Office of University Marketing

(Sept. 22, 2011) -- Education is the most important issue facing the state of Texas, outpacing worries over immigration and the economy, according to a 2011 Texas Lyceum poll.

The poll conducted in late May shows 33 percent of likely Texas voters listed education as their top concern, while only 11 percent named the budget shortfall, and another 11 percent were concerned about immigration, the top concern listed in 2010. And, while 60 percent of poll respondents believed the Texas economy is better off than the rest of the country, the majority of those same people are pessimistic about the national economy and the nation's future.

"In general, likely voters are feeling worse [about the national economy] relative to last year and they're less hopeful for the future and for the future of their children than non-voting Texans," said Amy Jasperson, UTSA associate professor of political science and geography.

Jasperson is serving the second year of a three-year term as a director with the Lyceum and partnered with Daron Shaw, a University of Texas at Austin government professor and Texas Lyceum alumnus, to lead the poll team.

The statewide telephone survey polled adult Texans with 707 completed responses and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.69 percent. The survey also included a likely voter screen.

The Texas Lyceum is a nonprofit and non-partisan statewide service organization that aims to identify the next generation of Texas leaders. Along with Jasperson and Albert Carrisalez, UTSA assistant to the president and director of external affairs and corporate relations, other members have included former President George W. Bush and Gov. Rick Perry. UTSA was one of the co-sponsors of the Lyceum's Great Debates conference on cyber security, held in San Antonio in February 2010.

"Over the past five years, the Lyceum poll has shared knowledge about what Texans think on a variety of issues. It raises current issues of major concern for further debate and discussion," Jasperson said.
For more information on the poll findings, visit the Texas Lyceum website.