Official economic data released Thursday confirmed what millions of Americans and Texans already knew from experience – that giant sucking sound in everyone’s ears is coming from the contraction of the economy. The same day (what a coincidence!), the president’s Tweet about delaying the November election, and the immediate frenzied responses, had a similar sucking effect. By comparison, Governor Greg Abbott’s addition of another week to the early voting period and an ever-so-slight relaxation of the vote-by-mail rules was a gentle whisper in the ear of the electorate (“I care…”). The Attorney General’s message to local health authorities was decidedly less gentle. Meanwhile, the legislature – remember them? – is getting antsy about how to manage the practical matters of what everybody realizes is going to be a miserable, fiscally strapped session in 2021 no matter how many people they have an excuse to keep out of their offices. And, well, Congressman Louis Gohmert. Read on for public opinion data on all this and more.
President Donald Trump returns to Texas Wednesday for a fundraising event in Odessa and, per press reports, to "tour an oil rig in Midland." Per our usual practice, we've rounded up various polling results capturing Texans' views of the president to provide context for his visit, which comes less than 100 days before voters decide whether to award him with another term.
As pandemic worsens in Texas, Governor Abbott’s job approval slips, ratings of other Texas leaders remain largely static as views of the Texas economy darken according to June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll
We released the remaining results of the June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll today. This post focuses on Texans' assessment of the state's political leaders, the state of the economy in Texas, and the direction the state is headed.
Going into a grim July 4 weekend defined by a resurgent COVID-19 in Texas, a new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds most Texans acutely aware of the hobbled economy and a country limping along on the wrong track. Yet amidst this dark view of the trajectory of the country, Republican partisans continue to view President Trump with the same devotion given him prior to the eruption of the country's multiple current crises, with Trump holding onto a 4-point lead in the presidential race with Joe Biden. This post previews Texans’ views of the President and their assessments of the overall state of the country captured in the poll, which was conducted June 19-29. More results covering a range of topics including the coronavirus pandemic, race, policing, and assessment of the states elected leaders will be released after the holiday weekend.
Texas Attitudes Toward Donald Trump as the President Returns to Texas for a Roundtable and More Fundraising
Recent polls showing a close contest between Trump and former vice president Joe Biden in Texas have been getting a lot of play in news media coverage. While there’s little doubt that the parties are getting more competitive in Texas, there’s also little doubt that early summer polling is a poor predictor of the final outcome. There will be lots of time to mull this as polling accumulates here. For now, we’ve gathered University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll results that illustrate Trump’s standing in Texas, with particular attention to cross tabs for subgroups that add dimension to the overall numbers. (For those who want to dig still deeper, there are 132 items tagged with Donald Trump's name in our poll archive.)
Texas government responses to the current crises will be shaped by public attitudes, and in particular whether the deep partisan influences over perceptions of the state and the state's economy prevail as disaster sweeps over the state and the nation. In Texas, the combination of partisan polarization, so deep that it colors even the most objective facts, and the dominance of one party for so long, have narrowed the range of potential policy responses into a small box dominated by expectations of growth, relative prosperity, and the enforcement of policy bounds by a de facto monopoly party. The first two economic expectations are no longer being met. The fundamentals of the third are about to be severely tested – and the leading indicator of those tests will be how much public perceptions shift beyond the comfort zone that has cushioned the current set of statewide leaders for the entirety of their political careers.
The February 2020 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll caught Bernie Sanders’ apparent rise and troubling times for Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential nominating contest, even as the race changes on a seemingly day-to-day basis heading into the end of the beginning of the delegate-earning phase of the contest. While the flow of the Democratic race remains rapid and unpredictable, Texans’ views of Congress are still, deep, and fetid. The impact of the impeachment process and its outcome were similarly settled, especially along partisan lines, though the attitudes of independents could potentially produce tricky undercurrents for incumbents. Donald Trump is getting some credit in Texas for a good economy even as his other job approval ratings remain deeply divided. Beneath all the Democratic presidential shifting and Trumpian chaos, the Democrats attempting to earn the right to challenge John Cornyn continued to struggle for attention -- good news for the incumbent. Find more on these points below.
Nonetheless, pre-election polling in Texas reveals a group of conservative voters who do report feeling left behind by changes in the economy, while also holding attitudes that cohere with broader elements of Trump’s rhetoric-- and, crucially, with the appeals of the most conservative factions of the Texas GOP. The beginning of the Trump presidency will come 10 days after the opening gavel of the 85th Texas Legislature. While the internal dynamics of the state’s political system traditionally drive most policy and politics in the session, Trump’s ascension to the presidential bully pulpit, at the head of one-party rule in Washington, markedly changes the national context and its possible impact.
What do Texans think about the fiscal and economic model for the rest of the country? Do they agree with Gov. Rick Perry that the Texas way is the better way?