Joshua Blank

Amended Endorsements & Endorsed Amendments: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

In a week that found Governor Abbott a little more committed to Donald Trump, the legislature continued to hold hearings that provide glimpses at possible agenda items as the universe around the state capitol comes to terms with the fact that Legislature will be back in session in less than four months. Two issues were on display this week that defy conventional coalition politics – a familiar one of finding a way to subsidize private schools with public funds, and the more esoteric subject of holding a Constitutional Convention to consider changes to the U.S. Constitution. Ted Cruz also made his way back into the news this week by being nice to some of his GOP colleagues and being not so nice to the Obama Administration. A new statewide poll grabbed headlines by finding Trump leading Clinton in the first major poll to switch over to focusing on likely voters.

Monkey Business? Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016
By: 
James Henson
Joshua Blank

The traditional post-Labor Day intensification of the presidential campaign didn’t disappoint, as the week began with the release of a massive 50-state poll from the Washington Post and Survey Monkey that put Texas in the national discussion of presidential polling (if you’re into that sort of thing). Donald Trump dominated campaign news at week’s-end with another round of praise for Vladimir Putin. Closer to home, several education issues heated up: the State Board of Education debated the textbook Mexican American Heritage and, well, Mexican-American heritage, Lt. Governor Patrick renewed his call to end in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants, and the Texas Education Agency called for class size limits in pre-kindergarten. Read on for polling data and comment...​

A Taco Truck Too Far? Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

As the Labor Day weekend and the symbolic start of the Fall election campaign season nears, some comments and data on voting, the return of sanctuary cities, and, of course, immigration and border security, including Donald Trumps Wonderful Wednesday.

Texas Tea Party Voters' Cool Embrace of Donald Trump

August 12, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Trump’s candidacy has cut across the right–far ideological presentation of the Tea Party brand that has helped define acolytes in Texas and frame the internecine fights in the Texas GOP as a battle for the mantle of “true conservative.”

Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – August 5, 2016

August 5, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The week saw the stirring of politics in Texas not reducible to the ever-more-weird presidential race, as Texas’ voter ID law was back in the news after the state was forced into an agreement that was a de facto recognition of the law’s shaky constitutional status. Another shaky Texas political arrangement – the system of financing public education – and the polarized political responses that have stymied progress on revamping it, were also on display in a long meeting of the Senate Education Committee.The week saw the stirring of politics in Texas not reducible to the ever-more-weird presidential race, as Texas’ voter ID law was back in the news after the state was forced into an agreement that was a de facto recognition of the law’s shaky constitutional status. Another shaky Texas political arrangement – the system of financing public education – and the polarized political responses that have stymied progress on revamping it, were also on display in a long meeting of the Senate Education Committee.

Donald Trump, Muslims, and the Military

August 3, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Donald Trump has almost single-handedly – well, single mouth-edly – driven media coverage beyond the standard talk of convention bounces on to speculation about just how weird his campaign can get – and, yet again, whether the current state of crisis in his candidacy can be overcome. Trump’s most recent paroxysm of impulse and insult started with his response to the Democratic National Convention speech by Kazir Khan, with his wife at his side, about his son’s death while serving in the military in Iraq -- the beginning of a very rough week for the Trump campaign and the party that nominated him.

Reviewing Texas Attitudes Toward Campus Carry as Law Goes into Effect

August 1, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

"Campus carry" -- the ability of holders of a concealed handgun license to carry concealed handguns on public universities (all but one private universities have reportedly opted out using a loophole for them provided by the Texas Legislature) -- goes into effect today, including at the University of Texas at Austin. As we've seen intertwined increases in Second Amendment fundamentalism, heavily publicized mass shootings throughout the United States, and activism in Texas aimed at expanding gun rights, we've conducted extensive polling on gun-related issues over the last few years. 

Convention After-Party: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, July 28 2016

July 28, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Polling data suggests that the quest for party unity driving both party conventions over the last two weeks entails more complex challenges for Republicans than for Democrats in Texas. As Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman nominated by a major party for the presidency, she remains polarizing in Texas even though there is a gender gap in assessments of her. Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday night drew rave reviews from Democrats and even a few Republicans, and could even help rally the troops among Texas Democrats still simmering for Sanders. In advance of campus carry going into effect on public universities around the state (the legislature helpfully allowed private universities to opt out), we also provide some polling data on campus carry and feelings about safety. Probably not as helpful as signage, but we’re doing the best we can – as did several others in the state as they rolled out some great exercises in providing useful public data this week.

Cleveland Rocks: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, July 22 2016

July 22, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland delivered on the promise of conflict and drama, even if it fell short on the promised A-list celebrities and athletes. The Trump coronation tapped into many currents of public opinion evident in Texas, including pessimism about the state of the country, shifting views of the United States’ role in the world, and the balance of threat and opportunity for us "out there." 

Where Ted Cruz Stands in Texas as He Takes the Stage in Cleveland

July 20, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Amidst speculation about both his present intentions vis-a-vis Donald Trump and his future plans, Sen. Ted Cruz will address the Republican National Convention tonight in Cleveland. It’s widely assumed that the junior Senator from Texas has emerged from the 2016 GOP primary race as one of the surest undeclared candidates for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination (in the event that Donald Trump does not win the election, and maybe even if he does). As Cruz prepares for his big moment in Cleveland, we review his most recent numbers in Texas.

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