In Storm’s Aftermath, Texas Voters Overwhelmingly Support Cash Relief and Energy Reform

Bilal Baydoun

Texas is still reeling from a devastating winter storm that left millions without power amid freezing temperatures, killing dozens and causing an estimated $200 billion in damage and economic losses. 

As Texas lawmakers consider relief measures and debate a path forward, a new poll from The Lab, a policy vertical of The Appeal, shows that Texas voters are overwhelmingly united in support of direct cash assistance to those most affected by the storm. And a strong majority, cutting across party lines, want the state’s energy companies to foot the bill for storm damage. Looking ahead, a majority of Texas voters oppose keeping the state’s independent power grid, which was pushed to the brink of collapse by the frigid temperatures. The results show that: 

  • 80 percent of likely Texas voters—including 85 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents, and 81 percent of Republicans—support a one-time cash payment of $1,000 to $2,500 per household to Texans most impacted by the storm. 
  • 81 percent of Texas voters—including 84 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 81 percent of Republicans—want to tap into Texas’s $10 billion rainy day fund to pay for damages caused by winter weather. 
  • 65 percent of Texas voters—including 74 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of independents, and 60 percent of Republicans—support requiring energy companies to pay for storm damages through a one-time tax. 
  • 59 percent of Texas voters believe Texas’s power grid should be integrated with the two national power grids, rather than remain independent. 

Direct cash payments provide efficiency and flexibility that is vital in the aftermath of disaster, empowering people to pay for food, rent, transportation, child care, or whatever else they may need to recover. In Harris County, both the county and the city of Houston deployed cash assistance as part of their COVID-relief programs. And on Wednesday, Texas State Rep. Ana Hernandez, a Democrat, introduced legislation that would create a state grant program to fund local, direct payments of between $1,000 and $2,500 to eligible residents affected by the storm. 

Poll Results

Many Texans are facing extensive costs as a result of the recent winter storms. These include high energy bills, home damage, and other costs. Below is a set of proposals that may help Texans deal with some of these costs. Please indicate whether or not you support or oppose each proposal.

 

Polling Methodology 

From Feb. 27 to Mar. 6, 2021, The Appeal conducted a survey of 2,300 Texas adults web panel respondents in English and Spanish.The sample was weighted to be representative of likely voters by age, gender, education, race, and voting history. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is ± 2.04 percentage points.

 

In Storm’s Aftermath, Texas Voters Overwhelmingly Support Cash Relief and Energy Reform