Blog

Beliefs About Discrimination in America Color Views of Supreme Court’s Masterpiece

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

This week, the Supreme Court released its much anticipated decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Civil Rights Commission, narrowly ruling for the plaintiffs and spurring both sides in the debate over LGBTQ rights to claim larger victories than justified by the decision.  While LGBTQ rights were clearly being tested, beliefs about discrimination in America lurk just below the surface of responses to the decision — and those beliefs vary markedly among partisans.

Read more...

Governor Abbott Navigates Public Attitudes and Political Realities with Gun Policy Announcement

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

We’ve gathered some relevant results from the dozens of items on gun rights, gun control, and gun violence that we’ve included in University of Texas / Texas Tribune Polling over the last several years, during which there have been at least 180 school shootings. They provide some context for what the governor included and left out in his proposals.

Read more...

Governor Abbott (Still) Tops Texans' Evaluations of Elected Officials*

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

In addition to its focus on Texans’ views of the issues facing the state a, the University of Texas / Texas Politics Project Poll regularly gages Texans' assessments of the state’s exclusively Republican leadership. As the political class in the state readies itself for the 2018 Elections and the 2019 legislative session, there have been small but notable shifts in voters’ estimations of their elected leaders’ job performance over the last few years.

Read more...

A look at Spring Polling vs. Fall Voting in Texas

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

 we've compiled statewide polling results from April through July for elections going back to 2010 for President, Senator, and Governor. While it's certainly fair to say that Cruz's lead over O'Rourke is not as stout as one might expect given historical polling (in the polling data below, the lead for the GOP candidate at this point in the election cycle is 9 points on average), there's little evidence from the eventual election results that Cruz's lead isn't likely to grow as the campaign season begins in earnest, let alone when voters actually begin to cast their ballots. This is, of course, dependent on how much past patterns hold in the present and near future.

 

Read more...

Texas Republican Women’s Support for Donald Trump Persists Even in Stormy Times

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Texas Republican women's support of Donald Trump coexists with their tepid reaction to the ongoing attention to both everyday and high-profile cases of sexual harassment and violence. The gender politics triggered by Trump’s record with at least some of the women he encountered on the road from celebrity to the White House didn’t prevent millions of women from doing their part to vote him into office. And evidence from Texas offers little indication that the often explosive gender politics in the wake of Trump’s election have altered the fundamentals of Trump’s wellspring of support among Republican women.

Read more...

What are #TxLege Members Doing on Facebook?

| By: Lindsay Dun and Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

As the national and international discussion of the larger role of Facebook and other social media applications rages in the wake of Russian subversion, the ongoing Cambridge Analytica revelations, and Mark Zuckerberg's appearances on Capitol Hill, attention has shifted away from the more mundane uses of Facebook by real live elected officials. 

Even with all the current angst about Facebook data as a backdrop, we are interested in how members of the #TXLege use the social media platform given its nearly ubiquitous use by elected officials in the state. One-hundred-forty-one members of the Texas House and 28 Texas Senators posted on public campaign Facebook pages where they designated themselves as a “politician” or a “public official” during the 2017 Session. This makes Facebook a venue for interactions with constituents as well as a forum for public interaction with the legislature as a whole.

Read more...

Pragmatic Approach to Changes to the U.S. Census Trumped by Nativist Attitudes in Texas GOP

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Given the array of attitudes toward immigration and citizenship among the voters who dominate both the selection of GOP statewide candidates as well as the selection of winners in the general election, these elected officials' remain eternally vigilant in their efforts to remain on the right side of the electorate – and each other – on all things related to immigration. The result is that they continue to channel the nativist impulses that course through their base, for better or for worse when it comes to major policy consequences of the Trump Administration's proposed changes to the U.S. Census.

Read more...

How Did Beto O’Rourke Really Perform in the Democratic Primary Election?

| By: Joshua Blank

Was the disappointment in O’Rourke’s performance warranted? Even a preliminary look at data from the campaign and election suggests it isn’t.

Read more...

Texas Minds Increasingly Made Up on Russia, Election, FBI

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

For years, Texas had a mythical independence that has somehow insulated the state’s culture and its politics from the nasty and increasingly deep-seated divisions that characterize so many other domains of American life. That’s now changed. 

Read more...

Takeaways from Texas: Expect Republican candidates nationwide to snuggle up to Trump

| By: Jim Henson

Texas, however unique in its own eyes, remains on the American political map, and its nation’s-first primary election expressed some national dynamics — and may provide some lessons, as national attention shifts to primaries elsewhere in the country.

Read more...

Pages