Keyword: Republican Party
The immediate question about the mutually reinforcing phenomena of Cruz’s recent success in the polls and the attendant media attention he has received is whether Cruz is emerging from the pack to become a real contender for the GOP nomination.
To say that the Tea Party has exerted an influence on Texas Politics over the last half decade is a major understatement, but what often gets left unexplored is the relative size of the group of Texans who identify with the Tea Party in the face of their outsized presence in the GOP primary process.
The prominent role of a Syrian who was likely never really a refugee, but masqueraded as one to reach Paris in order to play his terrible role there, has created the rhetorical space for a new variation on the immigration and border security trope that appeals to a broad section of Republican voters. The Paris attacks will clearly make national security and counter-terrorism more salient for now – and there was a significant portion of the GOP that saw terrorism as salient before the attack. But the quick incorporation of immigration as a central component of the national GOP response to Paris makes it unlikely that counter-terrorism will gain enough intensity to dislodge immigration in the gut reactions of GOP primary voters. The speed with which this incorporation has occurred suggests that, in fact, it may reinforce these reactions – and their impact on the GOP presidential race.
Halloween is upon us, but it's already been a scary week for Jeb Bush and homeowners thinking about their property tax bills – but Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are trying their best to calm everyone down. Calm by nature, Dr. Ben Carson started the week off early causing a stir with his proclamation that he's against abortion in cases of rape and incest, while two of Texas politics' more animated politicians – Dan Patrick and Ted Cruz – essentially endorsed each other. Both Patrick and Governor Abbott also endorsed the legislature preventing so-called sanctuary cities in Texas, but not enough to require legislators to haunt Austin in a special session. Finally, President Obama followed the lead of Texas in pressing for a reduction in standardized testing – a treat for kids and their parents, who increasingly told pollsters they find frequent high stakes testing pretty ghastly.
While there’s not a lot to be added to the chorus of sad assessments of Jeb! Bush’s presidential campaign (just Google “Bush and “toast” and take your pick), from the perspective of politics in Texas, George W.’s little brother's lack of traction in his family's home state reflect his broader difficulties as we get closer and closer to actual voting and caucusing.
Much of the week was filled with continuing storylines that are illuminated below with polling data and other graphics – attacks on Planned Parenthood, Ted Cruz's campaign for the Republican Presidential Nomination, more of Hillary Clinton's vexed run for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and another entry into the race for the House seat currently held by Speaker Joe Straus. The end of the week turned much more sadly serious with another mass shooting at a community college.
Given the speed with which Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign sank over the summer, his exit from the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest won't leave much of a wake in Texas public opinion. The second choice preferences in that race reveal who Walker appealed to before he was forced to abandon ship, though the limitations of what early polling numbers can tell us underline just how shallow his appeal was – and that Walker's peak was too little, too soon.
Voting is still months away, but a Donald Trump vs. Ted Cruz showdown in the Texas GOP primary next year is a distinct possibility. Based on polling, Trump's campaign rhetoric is likely finding a receptive audience in Texas - but one already very supportive of Ted Cruz.
While proposals to repeal birthright citizenship have not been widely or consistently discussed proposals in the mainstream, University of Texas/Texas Tribune polling has included an item on this proposal as part of a battery of questions that explored different attitudes toward a range of immigration policy proposals in the February 2011.
With the 2016 GOP Presidential Primary likely to pit at least four candidates with Texas roots against one another (Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul), we've using Google Trends data on each of these candidates to provide a proximate measure of how much attention the candidates are getting via Google searches. In a sense, this data highlights who is receiving the most interest from the public at a given point in time during the campaign. The graphics are dynamically updated to display data from today along with the previous 12-months.