Joshua Blank

Nativist and Nationalist Currents Running Strong in the Texas GOP

June 28, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The combination of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with the United Kingdom’s dramatic vote for “Brexit” from the European Union has brought renewed attention to the populist-tinged brew of nationalism and nativism flowing through Trump’s rhetoric as he competes for the presidency. 

Results from the June 2016 University of Texas / Texas Politics Project Poll reveal a thirst for such rhetoric in attitudes toward immigration, international trade, U.S. involvement in foreign countries, and even for more specific appeals identified with Donald Trump, such as building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico and banning non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States. 

Governor Abbott Remains Strong, Ted Cruz Slips Slightly in Texans’ Job Approval Ratings

June 27, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

In addition to its focus on Texans’ views of the presidential election, the University of Texas / Texas Politics Project Poll asked for assessments of the state’s exclusively Republican leadership. Given the Republican Party’s dominance of state government and all statewide offices, the most meaningful competition has increasingly occurred among these leaders, leading to some inevitable degree of comparison. 

University of Texas / Texas Politics Project Poll Shows Trump Leading Clinton Amidst Signs of Disunity in Both Parties

June 27, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

A University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by a margin of 41 percent to 33 percent in a head-to-head trial ballot match-up in Texas, with 19 percent preferring someone else, and 8 percent saying that they don’t yet know who they would vote for.

Texans Remain Closely Divided as U.S. Supreme Court Again Reviews Abortion Rights

June 27, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The June 2016 University of Texas / Texas Politics Project Poll included a brief item that asks respondents a simple question about a complex issue: “Generally speaking, do you consider yourself pro-life, pro-choice, or neither?”  This results may be of interest in the context of the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, particularly given the case’s origins in Texas.

Public Attitudes and Post-Orlando Politics: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, June 17, 2016

June 17, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The week in politics has been dominated by the sad but also politically complicated aftermath of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. We’ve gathered polling data relevant to the unusually complex tangle of issues that intersect the terrible events in Orlando. Which of these you think matters most (or at all) likely depends on partisanship and political ideology  – a facet of contemporary politics in the United States that made dramatically, often painfully, clear in the public discourse that has followed the Orlando murders.  As both public figures and the general public seek ways to think about the Orlando killers, attitudes about a complex range of issues -- terrorism, civil rights, gun violence,  immigration, Barack Obama’s presidency -- offer a range of contexts in which to frame the events in Orlando that were, at the same time, unambiguously terrible.

Texas Data Points from the Week in Texas Politics - June 10, 2016

June 10, 2016
By: 
Joshua Blank

The Democratic Presidential Nominating contest is over; Donald Trump is less offensive to people when he reads what he's going to say; Rick Perry won't be Trump's running mate but he still wants to be in his administration; and Ken Paxton tries his best to do Gov. Abbott a solid over Trump University, but only makes him look more suspicious by association. 

99 Trial Balloons: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, June 3, 2016

June 3, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

​The state’s political leadership moved this week to publicly acknowledge what reporters at some of the major dailies have been saying for weeks now: the use of emergency leave as severance pay by another name (mostly) is a thing, and not a good one. Depending on your perspective, Speaker Straus either sent up a trial balloon or invested a little political capital in an agenda setting move as the 85th Legislature looms a little closer on the horizon. Speaking of trial balloons, Hillary Clinton launched a big blue one in a reference to competing in Texas in a very good long read profile in New York Magazine, triggering a renewed discussion of her prospects in the land of Hill & Bill’s McGovernite youth as well renewed attention the headaches and heartburn Donald Trump’s approach to Hispanic outreach is causing in the GOP. Conservative opinion leader Bill Kristol’s search for a conservative alternative to Trump in the presidential has apparently led him to one David French. Sadly, there was another shooting on a college campus, which resonated, if probably only briefly, with the ongoing movement in Texas toward the August 1 implementation of campus carry policies on Texas campuses.

If Taxis Had Bathrooms... : Texas Data Points for the Week In Politics, May 13 2016

May 13, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The Obama administration has jumped into the fight over how LGBT rights should be applied to bathrooms in public schools, which will no doubt enter the discussion at the State GOP convention and be a matter for the Lt. Governor to engage in a high profile way. In other less attention-grabbing news, Iran is testing missiles and the courts won't force the Texas Legislature to revamp the manner in which Texas schools are funded.  

WELCOME HOME SENATOR CRUZ EDITION: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

While there was plenty going in Texas politics this week, it’s all secondary to Donald Trump taking the wheel of the national Republican Party while the kids fight in the back seat. Ted Cruz had a bigger taste of the presidential race than almost anyone expected, and is likely to come back to Texas, on balance, an enhanced political figure in his party. He’ll look even better if the Trump candidacy is a disaster for the GOP, though it would have to be some kind of meltdown for Trump to make Hillary Clinton a real contender in Texas. Not all Republicans will be on board, though the Governor and Lt. Governor ripped the Band Aid off quickly and endorsed Trump. Others Republicans have chosen to pick at those scabs.

Jammy Texas Data Points from the Week in Texas Politics - April 29, 2016

April 28, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

It was another big week of agenda setting maneuvers in the world of Texas legislative politics, while in the 2016 presidential race, the Cruz campaign continued trying to salvage hope while trailing badly in both votes and delegates.  ​Featuring Speaker Straus, Lt. Govenor Patrick, Ross Ramsey, Erica Grieder, and the Allman Brothers Band.

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