Governor Gregg Abbott has endorsed vouchers, which have repeated failed to pass the legislature. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is a voucher fanatic, and Senator Ted Cruz says that school choice is the most important issue in the nation. Pastors for Texas children has worked with a bipartisan coalition of legislators to stop vouchers.

Despite the enthusiasm of the state’s top elected officials, a new independent poll shows that the people of Texas don’t want vouchers.

Prepping for a war over private school vouchers in Texas, public school advocates are out with a new poll that shows the majority of likely voters oppose voucher programs that would hurt funding for public schools, and the opposition is deep in rural Texas.

The poll released Tuesday showed that 53 percent of likely Texas voters are against taxpayer-funded private school vouchers when hearing vouchers mean less money for their local public schools. And 71 percent of voters in rural areas said vouchers wouldn’t do anything to help them…

“These poll results show that Texas parents support their public schools, have confidence in their teachers, and are demanding investment in all of our students’ education,” said Julie Cowan, co-chair of Texas Parent PAC, which opposes private school voucher programs. “They do not support a blank check for private school voucher giveaways and charter school CEOs.”

The results come just over a week after Abbott declared in San Antonio that he was ready to make another run at passing a private school voucher plan that he insists won’t take money from public schools — a claim critics have questioned….

The poll released on Tuesday is from Change Research, a San Francisco-based firm. The poll surveyed 1,083 likely Texas voters. It had a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.

“Texas parents want to be absolutely clear to Governor Greg Abbott and every politician in office — don’t mess with our public schools,” said Dinah Miller, another co-chair of Texas Parent PAC.

Pro-voucher groups counter with a poll of Republican voters after the March 1 primary:

In the March 1 primary, Republican voters were presented a non-binding question previewing the school voucher fight. About 88 percent of GOP voters said yes to: “Texas parents and guardians should have the right to select schools, whether public or private, for their children, and the funding should follow the student.”

The wording of the question matters. Voters should be asked how they feel about taking money away from their local public school to pay for private and religious schools.

Here’s a copy of the poll results that should cause Governor Abbott to cut back on his support for vouchers.