Polling conducted after Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) controversially took a trip to Cancun during crises posed by the winter storm in Texas shows most Americans think political representatives should be in their home states during emergencies.
Cruz was photographed flying to Mexico earlier this week, as his home state suffered from widespread power outages and water supply issues.
The images from his journey went viral and backlash built as people discussed them on social media. Cruz since issued a statement confirming his trip and stating he went on the request of his daughters wanted to “be a good dad.”
He has since said the trip was a mistake and that in hindsight he would not have embarked upon it.
Following the trip, he has faced calls to resign from protesters and condemnation of his actions in editorials from Texas newspapers. He has also been the target of critical ads referencing the situation. Political adversaries have also taking issue with his actions.
On Friday, the day after Cruz returned from Cancun and issued his statements on the matter, YouGov asked 1,697 U.S. adults: “How important, if at all, is it for political representatives to be in their home state during an emergency?”
More than half, 55 percent, said it was very important. Another 26 percent said somewhat important. Split down by party affiliation, Democrats deemed it more important than Republicans—though most from both sides felt it was. Around two thirds of Democrats, 66 percent, said it was very important and 24 percent somewhat. Of Republicans, 37 percent said very and 32 percent somewhat.
Following Cruz’s trip, the senator said in a statement: “With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.
“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas.
“We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe.”
After the details of his trip to Cancun emerged, search traffic surrounding when he is up for re-election spiked. Cruz’s Senate seat is not up for a vote until 2024. He won re-election in 2018, narrowly beating Beto O’Rourke—who has been among those critical of the senator.
The criticism of Cruz comes as he was already suffering with his approval rating in Texas sliding.
Newsweek has contacted Cruz’s office for comment.