Joshua Blank, PhD

Joshua Blank is the manager of polling and research at the Texas Politics Project. Born in New York, NY, he has a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston University and a doctoral degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin.      

Texans' Perceptions of Threats to the U.S. and GOP Politics After the Paris Attacks

November 17, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

The prominent role of a Syrian who was likely never really a refugee, but masqueraded as one to reach Paris in order to play his terrible role there, has created the rhetorical space for a new variation on the immigration and border security trope that appeals to a broad section of Republican voters. The Paris attacks will clearly make national security and counter-terrorism more salient for now – and there was a significant portion of the GOP that saw terrorism as salient before the attack. But the quick incorporation of immigration as a central component of the national GOP response to Paris makes it unlikely that counter-terrorism will gain enough intensity to dislodge immigration in the gut reactions of GOP primary voters. The speed with which this incorporation has occurred suggests that, in fact, it may reinforce these reactions – and their impact on the GOP presidential race.

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics - November UT/Texas Tribune Poll Edition

November 13, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

While a more comprehensive analysis of the 2016 nominating race awaits the public release of the data and crosstabs from the November 2015 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll next week, the weekend pause in the Texas Tribune release schedule invites a few initial observations on the first wave of results.

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics (November 6)

November 6, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

It was a week in which Texas political headlines were generated by characteristically low-turnout Constitutional and local elections and the release of interim charges by the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives – which is to say, it was a week for insiders.

Scary Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics (October 30)

October 30, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Halloween is upon us, but it's already been a scary week for Jeb Bush and homeowners thinking about their property tax bills – but Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are trying their best to calm everyone down. Calm by nature, Dr. Ben Carson started the week off early causing a stir with his proclamation that he's against abortion in cases of rape and incest, while two of Texas politics' more animated politicians – Dan Patrick and Ted Cruz – essentially endorsed each other. Both Patrick and Governor Abbott also endorsed the legislature preventing so-called sanctuary cities in Texas, but not enough to require legislators to haunt Austin in a special session. Finally, President Obama followed the lead of Texas in pressing for a reduction in standardized testing – a treat for kids and their parents, who increasingly told pollsters they find frequent high stakes testing pretty ghastly. 

Data Points from the Week in Texas Politics (October 23)

October 23, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

The presence of Texas candidates for speaker notwithstanding, Paul Ryan decided he would take a stab at the least attractive job in American politics this week, leaving the state to make national news not by putting a Texan in the Speaker’s chair but by pushing the GOP’s ongoing attack on Planned Parenthood to a new level. Texas ideas nonetheless had their day in the Congress, as the Senate tried and failed to take up anti-Sanctuary City legislation. David Vitter at least probably appreciated the effort, but 2011 called and they want their issue back.  In the presidential arena, House Republicans teamed up with Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb to give the Clinton campaign a good week, while over in the GOP George W. Bush is So. Over. Ted. Cruz. And wants you to know it, apparently. It didn’t seem, however, to do much good, as the GOP 2016 stories at week's end were about Carson surpassing Trump in Iowa polling while the Jeb! campaign moved to cut payroll costs.

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics (October 16)

October 16, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

The era of “what, me worry?” when it comes to the effects of the oil boom came closer to the end this week with the comptroller’s downward revision of his revenue estimates, a revision based largely on the effects of the collapse in oil prices. The Lt. Governor followed with his serial interim charge announcements calling for “options to further reduce the tax burden on property owners.”  On the national stage, the vacuum created by the recognition that being Speaker of the U.S. House is a one-way ticket out of electoral politics led some GOP members to launch trial balloons. Meanwhile, over in the Democratic Presidential nomination race, Hillary Clinton reminded Democratic voters that she’s the pro in the race with a mostly sharp, funny performance that also showed her shrewdness by effortlessly getting to Bernie Sanders’ left on guns. Speaking of guns, the media was buzzing – and in some cases seemingly altering their policy on language appropriate for family newspapers – with the announcement by some activists at UT-Austin of a protest against the new campus carry law that will involve the open carry of dildos.

Public Opinion Annotations on the Texas Senate's Interim Charges

October 12, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Lt. Governor Patrick's interim charges represent a potpourri of issues ranging from the unsung operational stuff of government to the more provocative issues that rouse the GOP's voting base. University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling suggests that the GOP primary electorate is much less interested in the details of issues like water and electricity than they are in issues like immigration, border security, and the vociferous protection and expansion of gun rights.

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics

October 2, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Much of the week was filled with continuing storylines that are illuminated below with polling data and other graphics – attacks on Planned Parenthood, Ted Cruz's campaign for the Republican Presidential Nomination, more of Hillary Clinton's vexed run for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and another entry into the race for the House seat currently held by Speaker Joe Straus. The end of the week turned much more sadly serious with another mass shooting at a community college.

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics (September 25)

September 25, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Speaker Boehner’s exit, Pope Francis’s speech to Congress, Jeb Bush’s comments on immigration in Houston, the legal and political wrangle over HHS spending on therapy for poor and disabled children, and Governor Scott Walker’s departure from the Republican presidential nomination race

Scott Walker's Exit and Public Opinion in the Texas GOP

September 22, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Given the speed with which Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign sank over the summer, his exit from the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest won't leave much of a wake in Texas public opinion. The second choice preferences in that race reveal who Walker appealed to before he was forced to abandon ship, though the limitations of what early polling numbers can tell us underline just how shallow his appeal was – and that Walker's peak was too little, too soon. 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Joshua Blank, PhD