August 18, 2023 7:00am

Power Poll checks on weather preferences, 2024 presidential race, border security and Sixth Street safety

It's not close. Power Poll participants prefer too hot to too cold.

Photo of Ken Herman
Austin, TX Correspondent
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Too hot. Too cold. There’s your four-word summary of the Austin-area weather for the past couple of years.

So which, Power Poll wanted to know, would Austin area folks prefer if they had to pick one.

No contest. Too hot beats too cold, says a majority of Power Poll participants.

The question was simple, and comes on the heels of a couple of years when the region enjoyed or suffered through (depending on your comfort levels) blisteringly hot and bone-chillingly cold weather spells. Both levels of extremes caused problems for area residents.

The question: “If you had to pick one, which of these Fahrenheit temperatures would you prefer?” The choices were 105 degrees or 25 degrees.

Sixty-two percent of respondents went for the triple-digit option. That left 38 percent who prefer the sub-freezing option. Power Poll checks in with a variety of Austin-area folks, including political, governmental, community and business leaders.

Aware that some households endure a gender split on what’s too hot and what’s too cold inside a climate-controlled home, we checked the gender split on this question. Some differemce, but not much. Sixty-one percent of female respondents prefer 105 degrees to 25 degrees. Sixty-seven percent of males sided with the higher temperature.

The numbers confirm what most people believe about Central Texans. They are a warm-weather people, even when the warm weather is too warm.

In another locally-focused question, Power Poll asked respondents if they believe the downtown Sixth Street bar/entertainment district is a safe place to be at night. The results were decidedly one-sided. No, it is not, said a resounding 86 percent of respondents.

‘I definitely don't recommend friends from out of town to go to Sixth Street when they visit Austin,” said Power Poll participant Eric Bandholz, founder and CEO of Beardbrand.

With an eye toward the rapdily approaching 2024 presidentlal primary season, Power Poll asked respondents which GOP candidate do they think would be that party’s strongest contender next year as the Republicans try to unseat Democrat Joe Biden, his party’s probably nominee for a second term.

The result was fairly close with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis atop the crowded GOP field with 23 percent. Ex-President and current multiple indictee Donald Trump was second at 19 percent. Next were former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 14 percent and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, at 12 percent. No other GOP contender were in double figures.

The next highest was the ever-popular “other” at eight percent.

These results come as some Democrats argue among themselves about who’d they’d like to see as the other team’s 2024 presidential nominee. Some, who fear a Trump return to the White House, would like to see him eliminated during primary season. Others, who see him as easy to beat in November 2024, want to see him on the general election ballot.

State Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, is in that second category, as evidenced in his recent post on the platform formerly known as Twitter:

“On behalf of Democrats everywhere, I wholeheartedly endorse Donald J. Trump to be the Republican nominee for POTUS.”

Power Poll also asked about another topic on which everybody seems to have a strong opinion. It involves Gov. Greg Abbott’s aggressive tactics, including Rio Grande buoys and rolls of concertina wire on the Texas side of the river, to deter non-U.S. citizens from entering the country at non-authorized points along the border.

Thirty-nine percent said Abbott’s efforts are “legitimate and necessary protection against illegal entry into the United States. But 49 percent said the tactics are “cruel, inhumane and ineffective. Twelve percent said Abbott’s efforts are “irrelevant.”

Power Poll participant Eugene Sepulveda chose to respond with a quote from The Right Reverend C. Andrew Doyle, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, who expressed his displeasure with the tactics thusly:

"The actions of a state and leadership that acts in inhumane ways or requires its personnel or citizens to do so is not acting out this (Christian) faith and must be denounced as unChristian and immoral."

Power Poll Members: Do you have a friend or colleague who should be on Power Poll? Please invite them to join!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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