TEXAS REPUBLICANS WEIGH IN ON SECESSION…. Last week, a statewide poll in Texas found that 75% of Texans would like to see their state remain in the U.S., while 18% would prefer to secede, and 7% aren’t sure. Whether one considered those numbers encouraging or not was a subjective matter.

But that poll was of Texans in general. How about Texas Republicans? This was more obviously discouraging.

An equal number of Republicans think Texas would be better off as its own country as think it would be better off as part of the United States.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans said they favor secession, the same percentage that said they didn’t in a Research 2000/DailyKos poll released Thursday.

More, a majority of Republicans — 51 percent — approve of Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) recent comments that suggested Texas may need to leave the United States; 44 percent of Republicans disapproved of the remark.

Um, wow. Even as a Texan I find this shocking.

Granted, there were only 234 Republicans who participated in the poll, but the fact that they were split, right down the middle, on the question about staying in the United States is more than a little disturbing.

Indeed, the same poll found a much higher percentage of Texans who approve of the idea of secession that last week’s poll. While Rasmussen pegged the number at 18%, the Research 2000/DailyKos poll put the overall, statewide number at 35%, nearly double Rasmussen’s figure.

I can’t say with any confidence which of the two polls better captures public attitudes in the state, but either way, what should be a fringe idea seems to have quite a bit of support in the Lone Star State.

Oh, and did I mention that some Texas legislators are considering issuing a “cease and desist” order to the federal government?

I’ve read the Texas Republican Party’s platform. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.