2022 midterm elections: Here are the top issues Texas voters care about

aThe country is approaching Election Day, as voters turn to issues that may decide the fate of Congress and many state governments in November.

The Washington Examiner It tracks the issues that preoccupy voters as they prepare to head to the polls, particularly in key battleground states that could lead to a shift in power to the federal government. Specifically, we track how voters search for our top five issues—abortion, crime, education, inflation and taxes—and how those interests fluctuate as we approach Election Day.

Mid-2022: Track important voters’ issues ahead of Election Day

Below, you can track interest in each of our major issues on a 30-day rolling basis in Texas. The Washington Examiner This page will be updated as interests and voting concerns change.

The main races we watch in the state:

Despite being a reliably red state that leaves little room for turmoil or surprises, Texas has a number of high-profile midterm races for federal and state positions.

The most watched election in Texas for November is the race for governor between incumbent Governor Greg Abbott seeking to defend his seat against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman who initially rose to fame when he came close to defeating Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2018. The race is expected to go Republican, but the battle between Abbott and O’Rourke has become more competitive over the past few months.

Elsewhere on the ballot, state Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking to defend his seat against Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza. The race turned heads as Paxton is running a campaign that denies the results of the 2020 election despite holding a position helping to run elections in the state.

Texas voters will also head to the polls to choose their representatives in several House races, as Republicans seek control of Congress in November.

education

Education has emerged as a major issue among Texas voters over the past month, ranking first in search as of September 19, according to internet searches recorded and analyzed by Google Trends.

The most searched for education-related phrases over the past 30 days have included the names of student loan companies or “student loan forgiveness.” Education-related searches were highest on August 24 and during the last week of August, likely to coincide with President Joe Biden’s announcement of his student loan forgiveness plan.

Education-related searches received renewed attention during the first week of September, likely due to a decision by the Board of Education to postpone a vote on state social studies curriculum updates to remove the topic that makes students “feel uncomfortable.” The vote comes as several positions on the board of directors are being put forward for elections in November.

taxes

Taxes also emerged as a major issue among Texas voters, consistently ranking first on all three issues during the last week of August and the first two weeks of September.

It’s not clear what’s driving the interest behind the tax searches, but it may have something to do with the race for Texas comptroller as Republican Glen Hegar grabs headlines in his bid for a third term. The race for the comptroller, a position that serves as the state’s chief tax collector, is usually under the radar.

However, Hegar has attracted extraordinary interest by challenging many financial firms with anti-gas or oil positions and threatening budget sanctions against some counties due to a lack of law enforcement funding.

a crime

Crime remained one of the top issues on the minds of Texas voters, especially after the state was hit by a mass shooting at an elementary school in May, killing 19 students and two teachers.

The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi, Texas, has taken particular center stage in the governor’s race, with O’Rourke repeatedly using it as a talking point against Abbott’s criminal policies. O’Rourke boycotted Abbott’s press conference a day after the shooting, where he confronted the Republican governor over state gun laws that he said contributed to the incident.

O’Rourke made headlines once again on the issue after he criticized a laughter when the Democratic candidate called for increased gun control in the state. “It may be funny to you, Mother,” said O’Rourke, “but it is not so funny to me.”

miscarriage

Abortion has remained a low-research topic among Texas voters for the past 30 days, ranking fourth as of September 19.

Top abortion-related searches included inquiries about exceptions to the abortion ban in Texas and laws regarding the procedure in neighboring states such as New Mexico. A new Texas law that went into effect in August bans abortion in almost all cases after a heartbeat is detected, which is usually at about six weeks. There are exceptions when the mother’s life is in danger.

The issue of abortion has become central to the campaigns of many candidates after the Supreme Court overturned Raw vs. Wade Earlier this summer, he ended access to abortions nationwide and instead returned the decision on their legality to the states.

inflation

Inflation came up as the least-researched topic among Texas voters during August and September, apart from a spike in interest on September 13th.

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The most researched terms related to inflation included the Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden signed in early August. The measure seeks to reduce the state’s deficit by $300 billion over the next ten years by expanding health insurance support, increasing funding for the Internal Revenue Service, and offering financial incentives to companies that prioritize renewable energy.
Republicans have long focused on inflation as a major concern for voters in the midterm cycle, citing rising inflation under the Biden administration. However, inflation has become less of a concern after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, giving Democrats a rest and a challenge to Republicans as they craft new strategies.

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