Joshua Blank

Public Opinion on SB4 Provisions as Texas Law Returns to Court Today

November 7, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The UT/Texas Tribune Poll asked about two of the key provisions of SB4 that have been subjects of the litigation under discussion today – the so-called "show me your papers provision" that preserve law enforcement officers' option to ask for proof of citizenship during a legal detainment, and the requirement that local authorities' cooperate and comply with federal immigration law, including detainer requests by Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).

Taking Texas to Trial: Public Opinion on Texas' High Profile Cases

November 6, 2017
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

 When it comes to legal cases in general, and legal rights in particular, it's important to note that public opinion can often act as a poor guide to a just outcome, and in many cases, may have no relevance on particular legal proceedings. With that caveat aside, public opinion is useful in determining how elected officials, including the Attorney General, might react to court decisions, and further, whether the state chooses to push ahead in the legal process in the face of adverse decisions. 

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.

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 the Redirect to Mental Health in the Wake of Another Mass Shooting

October 6, 2017
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The cycle of initial shock and rote meta-politics that we’ve come to expect in the immediate aftermath of high-profile mass shootings in the United States has now moved on to the phase of political maneuvering over gun policy that takes place amidst the unpacking of the killer’s life.  At the intersection of these two storylines, attitudes about the causes of mass shootings inform both the political debate and efforts by the news media, policy makers, and the public to understand and arrive at responses to incidents like the attack in Las Vegas.

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