Jim Henson

President Trump Sticks to the Script in Invoking Mental Health in Response to Latest Texas Shootings

November 6, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson

While President Donald Trump has cultivated an image among his followers for defying the conventions of politics, his initial response to yesterday's mass killings by a gunman in Sutherland Springs, Texas, strictly followed the conventional script used by GOP elected officials in the wake of mass shootings.

A Milder Shade of Pale: Texas Data Points for the Week in Politics, November 3, 2017

November 3, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

If you're reading this, you probably know someone who's at least talking about running for Lamar Smith's congressional seat, one of three GOP-held seats now without incumbent candidates in 2018 after Smith and Jeb Hensarling announced they'd be exiting Congress stage-right. Governor Greg Abbott braved the moral swamps of Washington, DC to shop around a $61 billion plan for disaster recovery and beyond for Texas. Back at home, application for homeowner buyouts for those on floodplains is outpacing funding for them. In more personality-driven news, Rockwall businessman Scott Milder is challenging Lt. Governor Dan Patrick in the GOP primary, and Rick Perry offered a heretofore unrecognized benefit of fossil fuels to an eager political press corps, who seemed very glad this week that the longest serving governor in Texas history continues serving the public.

Rounding up Lt. Governor Patrick's UT/TT Poll Numbers as a Long Shot Primary Challenger Emerges

November 2, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

 Patrick's job approval numbers among key groups in the October University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll underline the strength of his position with the primary electorate.

Trying to Remember Who Was With Speaker Straus When He Announced He Had the Votes?

October 31, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

On January 5, 2009, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) held a press conference at the Texas Capitol to announce that he had the votes necessary to make him the Speaker of the Texas House, effectively deposing then-speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) with the support of a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. He was re-elected speaker by the body for four subsequent sessions.

Spooked by the Speaker and Other Data Points from the Week in Texas Politics

October 27, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson

The week drew to an end with a meeting about how to treat the past, after the Senate Finance Committee looked to the future as it pondered life after Harvey.  Several rounds of court battles resulted in an undocumented teenager in federal custody receiving the abortion she had requested and the Trump administration had tried to block.  Trump himself came to Dallas on Wednesday, but his visit got knocked off the front page in Texas by the unexpected announcement of Speaker Joe Straus that he wasn't running for re-election next year, though he was staying in his seat -- and the Speaker's office.  Read on for fresh public opinion data related to this week's news from the just-released October 2017 University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll.  (See hundreds of graphics from the poll results at our latest poll page, too.)

Straus-apalooza: A Round-up of Data on Speaker Straus and Video of His Appearances at UT Austin

October 25, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus’ announcement that he won’t seek re-election to his House seat will trigger an open race for the speakership while defusing efforts to make Straus himself an issue in the GOP primaries – a tactic that hasn’t work especially well in recent primaries anyway. The speaker will serve out the rest of his term, but on the occasion of the Speaker’s announcement, we've rounded up results on the Speaker’s job approval ratings from the University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll, as well as videos of the three interviews we’ve done with the Speaker during his term (recorded in 2011, 2015, and 2017).  

Texas Attitudes Toward President Trump as He Comes to Dallas For Campaign Fundraiser

October 24, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

President Donald Trump will be in Dallas for a fundraiser Wednesday in a week which will also see a convocation of Trump fundraisers presided over by T. Boone Pickens and a paid speech by Donald Trump, Jr. at the University of North Texas. The Trump visit comes in the wake of fresh data from the UT/Texas Tribune Poll on Texans’ attitudes toward Trump job performance overall, his handling of various public matters, and his character traits.  

First Takes and Some Bonus Data Points from the First Wave of October 2017 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll Results

October 19, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The Texas Tribune rolled out the first wave of results from the October 2017 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll thursdays, with 3 more days of nuggets to come.  Here are a few observations from the first day of results, plus a few tidbits of data from the crosstabs. (We’ll release the entire set of crosstabs and the usual files next week after the Tribune rollout is complete.)

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, October 13, 2017

October 13, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Speaker of the House Joe Straus continued his efforts to shift his party’s agenda into the realm of economic development and to re-engage the business sector. Meanwhile, over at the White House, apparently tired of Congress’s inability act on the ACA, Donald Trump used executive power to launch a frontal assault on Obamacare this week, with extremely uncertain political and policy results to come. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also expressed some very public frustration with Congress, who as a group had a pretty tough week even as they uncharacteristically tried to do their jobs by moving another disaster relief bill, which was passed by the House. One of those members, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, outraised his expected Democratic opponent, though also got word that he may have a primary challenger. And lest you think Congress deserves some sympathy, their response to the Las Vegas shooting devolved into the usual puddle of avoidance and utter predictability from all involved.

Public Opinion in Texas and Governor Abbott’s Poke at the Congressional Delegation Over Harvey Relief

October 12, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson

In terms of everyone’s standing back home in Texas, a look at the job approval numbers of the Governor, the Congress, and the state’s U.S. Senators finds Governor Greg Abbott in a pretty good position to take a shot at Congress.  The Governor’s job approval ratings are very strong among Republicans, while those of Congress remain almost comically dismal -- even among voters of the majority party.  

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