Second Reading Podcast: A look at the main currents in Texas politics in 2023

With the fourth special session adjourned sine die and the end of the year in sight, Jim Henson and Josh Blank consider how the major currents flowing through Texas politics in 2023 made manifest in a tumultuous year at the Texas Legislature.

Some polling results mentioned in the podcast

Ratings of the conservatism of Texas Republican elected officials

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CategoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
Conservative enough0%0%39%
Too conservative0%0%15%
Not conservative enough0%0%35%
Don't know/No opinion0%0%11%

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CategoryLean RepublicanNot very strong RepublicanStrong Republican
Conservative enough30%38%47%
Too conservative15%21%11%
Not conservative enough46%23%35%
Don't know/No opinion10%18%7%

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CategoryLean conservativeSomewhat conservativeExtremely conservative
Conservative enough40%45%32%
Too conservative31%6%4%
Not conservative enough15%40%61%
Don't know/No opinion15%9%3%

Predominance of immigration and border security in Republican views of the most important issue facing Texas

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categoryDemocratsIndependentsRepublicans
Feb. 201514%33%59%
June 201514%25%59%
Oct. 201512%32%57%
Feb. 201617%28%54%
June 20168%29%52%
Oct. 20167%32%56%
Feb. 20178%21%51%
June 20177%36%51%
Oct. 201712%30%44%
Feb. 201812%32%48%
June 20188%24%53%
Oct. 20189%29%62%
Feb. 201911%29%62%
June 201911%35%59%
Oct. 201912%28%57%
Feb. 202010%32%52%
Apr. 20201%8%28%
June 20203%14%29%
Oct. 20203%11%30%
Feb. 20212%23%46%
Mar. 20218%35%61%
Apr. 20216%35%65%
June 20216%35%59%
Aug. 20212%29%64%
Oct. 20212%26%68%
Feb. 20223%28%58%
Apr. 20224%31%61%
June 20222%19%45%
Aug. 20224%38%54%
Oct. 20224%35%61%
Dec. 20223%27%60%
Feb. 20235%32%59%
Apr. 20235%19%57%
June 20237%39%59%
Aug. 20235%38%59%
Oct. 20239%43%60%
Dec. 20237%32%61%
Feb. 202414%44%68%
Apr. 202413%40%63%
June 20249%34%61%

Trend in Republican approval of Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
November 201570%8%23%
February 201669%8%23%
June 201673%7%21%
October 201675%5%21%
February 201780%5%15%
June 201783%8%10%
October 201779%5%14%
February 201881%5%14%
June 201880%7%14%
October 201889%4%8%
February 201983%6%10%
June 201984%4%12%
October 201979%6%15%
February 202084%8%12%
April 202088%6%7%
June 202083%7%9%
October 202081%13%7%
February 202179%10%11%
March 202179%13%8%
April 202177%13%10%
June 202177%12%11%
August 202173%18%9%
October 202179%15%6%
February 202274%14%12%
April 202280%10%11%
June 202278%11%12%
August 202280%12%8%
October 202286%8%6%
December 202287%6%8%
February 202383%7%10%
April 202379%9%12%
June 202381%10%8%
August 202381%11%8%
October 202379%10%11%
December 202378%10%12%
February 202483%8%10%
April 202485%8%8%
June 202482%8%10%

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PollApproveDisapproveNeither/Don't Know
November 201550%7%44%
February 201647%10%43%
June 201654%9%37%
October 201656%10%34%
February 201759%6%36%
June 201764%11%25%
October 201762%9%30%
February 201867%7%26%
June 201864%7%26%
October 201877%6%17%
February 201975%6%19%
June 201968%6%25%
October 201967%9%23%
February 202072%9%20%
April 202070%10%20%
June 202072%8%20%
October 202066%10%24%
February 202165%11%24%
March 202164%11%26%
April 202163%10%27%
June 202165%7%28%
August 202161%11%28%
October 202167%9%25%
February 202257%10%33%
April 202266%8%27%
June 202262%12%25%
August 202269%10%22%
October 202270%6%25%
December 202277%6%16%
February 202370%8%22%
April 202372%9%20%
June 202366%7%27%
August 202362%11%27%
October 202363%11%25%
December 202363%10%27%
February 202466%10%24%
April 202470%7%22%
June 202465%8%26%

About the Second Reading podcast. The podcast has been produced intermittently by Jim Henson for the Texas Politics Project, with production support from UT's Liberal Arts Development Studio, since 2016. You can find past episodes and subscribe to the Second Reading podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotify,  and Stitcher.

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