Keyword: Gun Violence

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

| By: Jim Henson and 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.

Read more...

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

| By: Jim Henson and 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.

Read more...