AUSTIN, Texas — AUSTIN — The top five most conservative presidential candidates have more in common than most of us would like to admit.
For one, all five candidates have supported or promoted abortion rights, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and other controversial policies.
They also have been criticized for supporting, at times, their party’s extreme stances on social issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
And they all have strong ties to Texas, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a staunch supporter of the Republican Party, and Republican Gov.
A study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center finds that a majority of Americans view the five most liberal presidential candidates in Texas as more liberal than they do the five least liberal.
The most liberal candidate, Gov.
Bill Wexler of Texas, is endorsed by the National Rifle Association and has received significant donations from Koch Industries.
The least liberal candidate is former Republican Gov, Wendy Davis of Texas.
Herpanics have supported President Obama more than any other group, the study shows.
And they have given more than $50 million to the Democratic Party since he took office in 2009.
A majority of those who say they lean Democratic or Republican say the candidates are more conservative than they are liberal.
They are also more likely to say that they approve of the way the candidates stand on social policies.
A quarter of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans who lean Democratic say they approve, compared with 23 percent of independents and 23 percent among those who lean Republican.
On the other hand, Americans of both political stripes say the two most conservative candidates in the Republican field — former Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas — are more liberal.
About half of Republicans say they are more likely than others to approve of Cruz’s policies, while 41 percent say the same of Paul’s.
But less than one-third of independents approve of either candidate, and less than 1 in 5 Republicans say the opposite of Paul.
About one-in-four Republicans say their party is more moderate than they think it is.
About a third of Democrats agree.
The Pew study is based on interviews conducted March 2-8 with 1,037 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Pew is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization based in Washington.