Democrats, Republicans in Texas split on key issues in midterms

Immigration and border security top the list of concerns for Texans in a recent poll -- but digging deeper shows a clear difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Overall, 21 percent said immigration was the most important problem facing the state and 16 percent said it was border security. But when you break it down by party affiliation -- 61 percent of Republicans chose immigration or border security as their top concerns compared to 11 percent of Democrats.

Political corruption / leadership and health care were the top two concerns of Democratic voters.

Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez keyed on those numbers at a campaign stop in Lewisville on Wednesday.

“Which one of us, except a handful of folks, does not have someone who came to the United States? Rhetoric like that is not helping, they're doing it on purpose to take away from the main issues that need to be brought up -- health care, education,” Valdez said.

President Donald Trump in recent days has tried to rile up his base with just days to go before the midterms using the immigration issue, saying on Tuesday he'd end birthright citizenship by executive order.

Gov. Greg Abbott, in Fort Worth on Wednesday, seemingly agreed with the president. But he was unsure if the president can lawfully make the change unilaterally.

“Obviously the president is very frustrated about a broken immigration system that simply is not working and he's searching for a strategy to try to fix a broken immigration system,” Abbott said.

Abbott said President Obama first tried to deal with immigration by executive order and that he sued the Obama administration, arguing only congress could do it. As for whether he thinks Trump has the legal authority to make the change, Abbott says he'd need to see the president's analysis.

The University of Texas - Texas Tribune poll surveyed 1,200 registered voters from Oct. 15 - to Oct. 21.

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