Joshua Blank

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics - January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The saga of sanctuary city politics continued in Texas this week, with the issue being used to attack candidates in at least three Republican primary races in the Texas House: the HD-8 contest between incumbent Byron Cook and challenger Thomas McNutt, and in the races in the districts of both Speaker Joe Straus and Rep. Charlie Geren. Friday afternoon, a story in the Texas Tribune suggested that Texas cities account for only a tiny share of undocumented arrestees not held in custody for deportation nationally. You’d never know it by these campaigns – or by looking at either the Texas Legislature or public attitudes on sanctuary cities, for that matter. Nationally, the president gave a State of the Union Address that was part victory lap and part attempt to shape the tone of the 2016 campaign season, with some taunting thrown in for sport (mainly his). And there was another GOP presidential debate, in which Ted Cruz and Donald Trump went at like they were scrapping for the One Ring. We’ll leave it to you to figure out who the other candidates were in that reference.

How Obama’s Executive Actions Affect Texas Gun Politics

January 8, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Texas voters may not be currently clamoring for ever fewer restrictions on gun rights, but the political leadership is determined to deliver them anyway.

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics - January 8, 2016

January 8, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The holidays were definitely over this week with the primary contests heating up and President Obama making a big push on gun safety and earning a swift, even preemptive responses from Republicans in Washington and Texas. Speaking of Washington Republicans in Texas, Marco Rubio made his first campaign visit to Texas this week in an effort to break into the top tier here.  The DPS officer who pulled over and arrested Sandra Bland, who later died in custody in Waller County, is out of the job and in legal trouble, while federal law enforcement officials are taking a MUCH more measured approach to the constitutionalist occupation of a building on national park land in Colorado – perhaps following a little-noticed Texas precedent. As we were gathering material for this post, Greg Abbott called for a Constitutional Convention – U.S., not state, so if you’re a Texas legislator, it’s ok – and 9 new amendments broadly aimed at reasserting state authority vis-a-vis the federal government and putting new checks on the U.S. Supreme Court. He seems sort of fed up! To borrow a phrase.

How Ted Cruz's Edge in Texas Helps Him in the Debate Showdown with Donald Trump

December 14, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The immediate question about the mutually reinforcing phenomena of Cruz’s recent success in the polls and the attendant media attention he has received is whether Cruz is emerging from the pack to become a real contender for the GOP nomination.

The Size of the Tea Party Electorate in Texas

December 2, 2015
By: 
Joshua Blank

To say that the Tea Party has exerted an influence on Texas Politics over the last half decade is a major understatement, but what often gets left unexplored is the relative size of the group of Texans who identify with the Tea Party in the face of their outsized presence in the GOP primary process.

Decoding Political Responses to the Planned Parenthood Shooting

December 1, 2015
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

The attitudes revealed in polling provide ready frames for political leaders on the left and right to use in crafting their responses to the sad and troubling events in Colorado Springs.

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