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Credit unions are holding their own in the popularity ranks while banks took a nosedive, according to a Texas Credit Union League phone survey.A poll of 800 registered voters taken in late April as part of the league’s advocacy efforts found that CUs are the “most popular” financial institution with their image “virtually unchanged at 75% favorable to 8% unfavorable, statistically the same as 2004,” while banks have taken a negative hit during the same period.Banks were rated 55% favorable to 39% unfavorable for the most recent poll, compared to 69% to 17% in 2004, said Buddy Gill, the league’s chief advocacy officer.“What is remarkable is how popular credit unions are far beyond their own membership levels. Almost half-45%-of all Texas voters are members of a Texas credit union, up slightly from 42% in 2004,” said Gill.The phone poll of registered voters, which also covered issues on the Texas economy and national politics, was taken by two firms, the GOP-based Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Va. and the Dem-linked Hamilton Strategies of Fernandina Beach, Fla.On the nation’s financial crisis, the survey found Texas voters “are more optimistic than the rest of the country about the state’s economy and surviving” the current gloom, said Gill.Texas voters name the economy and jobs (42% each) as the top concern in the state, followed by illegal immigration and education (35% each) tied for second place.On the federal level, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) scored the highest with a 66% to 18% net positive job approval rating. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) scored 47% to 22% net positive, and Texas voters gave President Barack Obama a 49% to 40% net positive job approval rating.–[email protected]

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