Keyword: Ted Cruz

Those Yard Signs Don’t Have a Year on Them: Why Beto O’Rourke Shouldn’t Run for President in 2020

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

A sober assessment points to the best move for Beto O’Rourke, for Texas, and maybe for the Democratic party writ large: The most likely path for most successful statewide Texas Democrat of the 21st century to win his next election is to rejoin the fray as soon as possible by running for the other U.S. Senate seat in 2020. This would hasten the emergence of a competitive party system in the state.

The rampant speculation about a Beto for President campaign in 2020 is a fantasy borne of various combinations of Texas-centric thinking, viral Betomania, and media group think.

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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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Texas Public Opinion Touchpoints as Senators Cornyn and Cruz Vote to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

| By: Jim Henson

No one is surprised that Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted today to clear the way for Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the United States Supreme Court, and will vote in his favor tomorrow when the Senate takes the final vote.  In the meantime, polling data from the University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll illuminates, at least in part, why Senators Cornyn and Cruz would support Kavanaugh even as temperament and forthrightness with Senate, and questions about his past became ever more problematic.  A more thorough analysis will require new, more focused data. But in the meantime, the data at hand provide context for why the Texas Senators followed the party line once the responses to the accusations against Kavanaugh intersected with the seemingly ever-escalating partisan environment. From perceptions of discrimination to the #metoo movement to attitudes toward the court, the attitudinal landscape in Texas is marked by deeply opposed, partisan frames of references on some of the fundamental questions raised by Kavanaugh hearing and his and his defenders' responses to the objections raised to his confirmation.

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The Public Opinion Context in Texas of the Kavanaugh Confirmation, Sexual Assault Charges Against Him, and Ted Cruz’s Role in the Coming Senate Hearings

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Amidst talk (though uneven evidence) of Ted Cruz’s possible vulnerability among women in the suburbs and of a lack of enthusiasm for Cruz overall, as well as comparatively more demonstrable gender differences in attitudes related to sexual harassment and assault, the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh pose political hazards for Ted Cruz should there be new hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the present atmosphere of partisan polarization on both Kavanaugh’s nomination and gender politics, Cruz must walk a narrow and somewhat unfamiliar path – one that requires moderation of his usual temperament.   

We revisit key aspects of the relevant landscape of attitudes in Texas below. Multiple results on relevant subjects from University of Texas/Texas Tribune polling illustrate  just how narrow this path is in the Texas electorate, who will start early voting in about a month. (This post was slightly revised 20 September 2018 at 3:10 PM to reflect new developments, including data on Texans' views of the FBI.)

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The Odds Against O'Rourke: Some Back-of-the-Envelope Vote Counting in the Texas Senate Race

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

Even under extremely rosy circumstances, O'Rourke needs BOTH a momentous shift in voter sentiment, AND a momentous shift in Democratic turnout: possible, but still not probable.

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Beating on Beto: The Logic of the Cruz Campaign’s Negative Turn in the Texas Senate Race

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

Over the last week and a half, the Ted Cruz campaign and its allies have stepped up their negative attacks against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke (though with a bit of a stumble out of the blocks). The Cruz campaign’s blows against Beto have gotten both tougher and more voluminous as the campaign sees close public (and perhaps internal?) poll numbers and, within that polling, a large share of Republican voters seemingly unaware of the threat to their party’s hegemony skateboarding their way.

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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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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.

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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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