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Vast majority of Texans say police could have done more to stop Uvalde mass shooting: CBS News poll


One month after the school shooting Uvalde, Texans are overwhelmingly critical of law enforcement’s response to the shooting, with most feeling it is important to investigate their response. Most Texans are worried about another mass shooting.

Texans rate Governor Abbott’s response to Uvalde more negatively than positively.

Nearly half of Texans report that the Uvalde shooting has prompted them to support some gun restrictions, and in Texas there is support for some measures.

By endorsing many potential gun measures, Texas looks a lot like the nation as a whole.

We see bipartisan support for measures like universal background checks and making the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 at least 20 years old. But there are more partisan differences over the gun-focused policies themselves. Most Republicans oppose an AR-15 ban in Texas, and more than half oppose a red flag law, in which a court can order the temporary removal of a firearm from a person deemed as a potential hazard.

More than half also disapprove of Abbott’s overall job performance, but Abbott still leads Beto O’Rourke by eight points among likely voters in the gubernatorial race.

Sen. John Cornyn is getting mixed marks from his own party on representing Texas interests when it comes to guns, and this is dragging down Cornyn’s overall job approval rating of just 35%. among Texans in general.

The execution of Uvalde

Nearly nine in 10 Texans feel Uvalde police could have done more to stop the shooter. Criticism is widespread across demographic and political groups.

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Abbott gets negative marks from younger Texans, women, and Blacks and Latinos for his handling of the Uvalde shooting. Most Democrats and independents think he has done a poor job, but most in his own party rate his response positive.

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Concern over mass shootings, gun policy

About eight in 10 Texans are worried about more mass shootings in Texas like the one in Uvalde, including nearly half who are “very worried.” Women express more concern than men. Latinos and blacks in Texas are more likely than whites to be very concerned about a mass shooting.

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For about half of Texans, the shooting at Robb Elementary has made them more likely to support some gun restrictions. Democrats, whose party has long backed gun restrictions, are particularly likely to say this, but they are joined by three in 10 Republicans who also say the shooting has made them more inclined to favor some measures.

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Texans widely support background checks and being at least 21 years old. There is majority support for a “red flag” law in Texas and an AR-15 ban, but there is more division among Texans on these measures.

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Texans’ views on these measures are in line with those of Americans in general.

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Texans’ views on gun policy measures are connected to what they believe would be most effective in trying to prevent mass shootings.

Republicans tend to focus on non-gun measures: more religion and faith in people’s lives, better mental health services, and more armed security in public places. Democrats are seeking more gun-related restrictions, including background checks and red flag laws, along with more mental health services.

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Senator John Cornyn

Republicans who think Cornyn has done a poor job on gun policy overwhelmingly disapprove of his overall job performance. Cornyn’s job approval among Republicans is 20 points lower than Ted Cruz’s.

Most of the interviews for the survey were conducted while the legislation was being considered and before it was passed. More Texas Republicans said they oppose the legislation being considered than favor it. The general Texas public is more inclined to favor him.

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Gun Owners in Texas

Gun owners in Texas, like those in the country in general, are more likely to identify as Republicans than Democrats, and that is reflected in some of their views on gun policy, which are similar to those of Republicans in general.

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But what does it mean to own a gun? By far the top answer is ‘protection’, followed by ‘responsibility’, ‘freedom’ and ‘self-sufficiency’. These sentiments are similar across the demographics of gun owners, including men and women.

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Politics and the gubernatorial race

Governor Abbott gets mixed results when Texans look at the job he’s doing. Most Republicans like the job he is doing, most Democrats don’t, while independents are split down the middle. Still, in a state that leans more red than the rest of the country, he is seen as doing a better job as governor than Joe Biden as president.

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Despite his low approval ratings, early polls show Greg Abbott with an eight-point lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke if the Texas gubernatorial election were held today.

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This CBS News/YouGov poll was conducted with a statewide representative sample of 1,075 adult U.S. residents in Texas interviewed between June 22-27, 2022. The sample was weighted to be representative of adults statewide by gender, age, race, education, and geographic area. region based on the US Census Current Population Survey, as well as the 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±4.7 points for the total sample.

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