A poll that seems intended to intimidate rural legislators and their constituents has been running in their parts of the state. The chatter amongst the Capitol is that the poll is from Gov. Greg Abbott’s consultant, Dave Carney, according to the Quorum Report.
With only 46 days left in the session, the voucher fight is really heating up, and so are Abbott’s efforts. Last week, ahead of a pivotal vote for vouchers in the House, the Governor was seen on the chamber floor speaking with lawmakers. This week there’s the push poll, even if there is no proof that the poll was conducted by Gov. Abbott, it is convenient timing. Especially since the Governor has been keeping a close eye on legislators from rural districts where these programs have been historically unpopular.
The survey, which the Quorum report has reviewed, focuses on the state representative for the area, on Abbott, and on “school choice” for “Parent Empowerment.”
The language the poll uses is clearly pro-voucher and aimed at gathering information for Abbott’s campaign. However, it is not clear who is actually behind the polling.
Here are some of the questions of the poll as shared by the Quorum Report:
- If a Republican (state representative for the area) opposed school choice legislation to empower parents, would you believe he deserved re-election to the Texas House of Representatives, or would it be time for someone new?
- Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Greg Abbott?
- Do you support or oppose school choice, allowing parents to send their children to public, charter, or private schools with funding following the student?
The poll also came with some statements that seem intended to sway GOP voters toward a positive stance on voucher-like programs:
- Every child learns differently and has different needs when it comes to education. School choice gives flexibility to parents to decide the right education that fits their child’s unique needs.
- Schools should teach kids how to think, not what to think. Sadly, many are trying to indoctrinate kids in schools. School choice gives parents the ability to choose an education setting that is free from indoctrination at a public school.