Joshua Blank

Texas Efforts to Curtail Abortion Access May Soon Test Public Tolerance

August 25, 2021
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

If the repeated results on proposals like banning abortion after 6-weeks suggest a high tolerance for regulating abortion, voluminous and long-standing results are even more clear in illustrating that a majority of Texans do not want to ban abortion outright.

Partisan perceptions of COVID-19 danger to school kids persisted through the pandemic — and are fueling back-to-school fights over school policies

August 19, 2021
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The political conflicts over the authority to protect public health (or not) that have roiled the Texas political system since the earliest days of the pandemic are boiling over as school officials' efforts to protect children, teachers, and staff from a reinvigorated coronavirus now requires defying Gov. Abbott and his allies in all three branches of state government.

Texas Public Opinion and the Agenda for the Second Special Session of the Legislature

August 6, 2021
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The uncertain date of the return of the renegade House Democrats to Austin make the fate of this agenda unclear at the moment, but we do have a lot of polling data to give us a sense of public opinion on most, though not all, of the agenda proffered by the Governor.

A Note on Texas’ Quorum Requirements and Lt. Gov. Patrick’s Request for a Special Session Call

July 16, 2021
By: 
Joshua Blank

At first, I was a little confused by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s tweet asking that Gov. Greg Abbott add quorum requirements to the next special session call, thinking that quorum requirements might simply be subject to rules in each chamber, and in fact, those quorum requirements are in the house (pg.

The Deeply Polarized Public Opinion Context of Texas House Democrats’ Flight to D.C. to Obstruct GOP Voting Laws

July 13, 2021
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

we’ve gathered some recent polling results that illustrate (yet again) deep divisions along partisan lines related to almost all aspects of voting. We start with results from University of Texas/Texas Tribune polling conducted during the session on specific proposals, some of which were in the late, not very lamented SB 7, and which have been resurrected in the new voting bills passed out of committees in the House and Senate over the weekend. We’ve also included results that illustrate those same stark, partisan divisions in attitudes and beliefs about how elections worked in 2020, how they worked in Texas, specifically, and dispositions about what needs to be done in the realm of election laws. 

Updated Trends in data from more than a year of polling continue to reveal often dramatic differences in Texas attitudes and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

July 1, 2021
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

The June 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll adds a sixth assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic to the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, adding to attitudes collected in batteries from polls conducted in April, June, and October of 2020, and February, April and June of 2021. The time series allows reporters, researchers, elected leaders, public health officials, and the public a view of how Texans’ concerns about COVID, behaviors during the pandemic, and evaluations of the official responses have changed throughout a year of pandemic conditions in Texas.

With their approval numbers sagging, Texas GOP leaders double down on their primary voters

May 6, 2021
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The shifts in Texans’ approval of the jobs the Governor and other statewide officials have done during an unprecedented period of crisis in the state provide a critical context for understanding the trajectory of state politics as we enter a key interlude in the intertwined legislative and election cycles.

Trends in data from a year of polling reveal often dramatic differences in Texas attitudes and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 30, 2021
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

The April 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll adds a fifth assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic to the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, adding to attitudes collected in batteries from polls conducted in April, June, and October of 2020, and February and April of 2021. The time series allows reporters, researchers, elected leaders, public health officials, and the public a view of how Texans’ concerns about COVID, behaviors during the pandemic, and evaluations of the official responses have changed throughout a year of pandemic conditions in Texas.

Texas attitudes on spending priorities as the Texas House debates the next budget

April 22, 2021
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

All eyes in the Texas Capitol today will be on the floor of the Texas House, as the chamber considers the core appropriations bill (SB1) as well as the supplemental appropriation bill (HB2) and third reading for the significant follow-up bill to last session’s major education reform (HB1525, on which there are more than 20 prefiled amendments). The February 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll included a large array of questions on government spending and policy priorities. We’ve gathered them all in one place for reference as the House considers the bills and particularly the over 200 pre-filed amendments on SB1.  

Reconciling Backing the Blue with the Right to Bear Arms

April 21, 2021
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The Texas House of Representatives’ passage last Friday of HB 1927, a bill that would effectively allow for the unlicensed carry of handguns in most public places in Texas, was quickly followed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s comments to the press this week that, as of now, there isn’t enough support in the Texas Senate to act on the bill. In the wake of some police organizations’ high-profile opposition to allowing unlicensed and untrained gun owners to carry weapons in public places (which didn’t persuade the House majority), Patrick’s public decision to push the pause button in part reflects a tension between two prominent themes of recent Republican election campaigns: the promise to “back the blue,” a ubiquitous refrain of campaigns up and down the ballot in 2020, and the full-throated defense of an ever-expansive view of the Second Amendment.

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