Keyword: Greg Abbott

The polling told you so: The sales tax trial balloon plummets to earth

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The Texas Senate’s rejection of the much-hyped proposal by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House to ask voters to approve a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax has produced what passes for high drama in the Capitol. The Senate’s outright rejection of an approach promoted by its presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, only worsened the already obvious problems in the House, where Democrats are publicly unified in their opposition amidst lower-key but palpable skepticism among House members who have to run in GOP primaries next year. (Shortly after the original version of this post appeared in TribTalk on May 7, the House sponsor of the bills pulled them from consideration, all but guaranteeing the death of the sales tax increase.)

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Some #Txlege Takeaways from This Week’s Release of the February 2019 UT/TT Poll

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll, which Ross Ramsey wrote about in a batch of stories released through the week, covered a range of subjects and issues with an emphasis on the current legislative session. As always, we’ll continue to mine the data and connect it with happenings at the legislature as the session kicks into a higher gear, but below are a first set of observations, hopefully more than hot takes but certainly less than the in-depth treatment we’ll give them in coming weeks.

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Mandate or machinations? Unpacking efforts to set the legislative agenda

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Set aside the hand-waving and vague muttering that “elections have consequences,” and the evidence for a public mandate on school finance and propert taxes is pretty thin. It likely has more to do with the new governing dynamic among Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and Dennis Bonnen.

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Texas Public Opinion and Governor Abbott's Emergency Items for the 86th Legislature

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Governor Greg Abbott delivered the state of the state speech today, and as expected declared a set of emergency items, enabling the legislature to move bills on these subjects through the legislative process more quickly. These items are school finance reform and increasing teacher pay; school safety; mental health; property tax reform (with a seeming nod toward electing tax appraisers); and disaster response.

Abbott’s emphasis on public education and reforming the property tax system largely echoed priorities already under discussion by the state’s political leaders as the legislative session has unfolded. He ended with an embrace of the seeming Era of Good Feeling that state leaders keep declaring in the Capitol in the wake of the 2018 election ("I am inspired by the comradery and collaboration that have infused this session. I feel it myself."). The causes and reality of this narrative beyond waving at the 2018 election results deserve to be examined more closely; for now, here are some touchpoints in public opinion for the emergency items that the governor has declared in his bid to set the legislative agenda.

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October 2018 UT/Texas Tribune Poll Election Takeaways

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The trial ballot in the contest between Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke, which found the incumbent senator leading the El Paso congressman 51 to 46 percent, provided the marquee result from the October University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Ross Ramsey did his usual, able job rolling out the results from the trial ballots; below, find a few related observations. 

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2018 Election Polling in Texas - October 2018 UT/Texas Tribune Poll Version

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

This post will be updated regularly to reflect the release of new public polls.

Most recent update: 11/2/18

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2018 Election Polling in Texas

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

This post will be updated regularly to reflect the release of new public polls.

Most recent update: 10/24/18

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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.

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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.

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Hopelessly Devoted: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, March 2, 2018

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

As the party primaries got predictably nasty in the final week of campaigning before the March 6 election, Democratic early voting surged all week, a real phenomena that launched a thousand fundraising emails and at least a few flights of fancy, especially from those who can’t resist trying to turn a good thing into a fantastic thing. Donald Trump and Robert Mueller continued to make headlines, likely deepening the partisan divides in perceptions of their respective endeavors.  Continue on for data on public opinion related to the torrent of political events this week, much of it freshly gathered in the latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll.

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