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Texas Attitudes on Border Wall, Muslim Immigration, and Syrian Refugees

| By: Joshua Blank

With President Trump expected to move forward on campaign promises to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and to curtail immigration through executive action/order today, here's a quick look at where Texans stand on some of these issues from recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling.

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A Table With a First-Cut Comparison of House and Senate Budget Proposals for 2018-2019

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The House and Senate released their initial budget proposals this week, and with the help of the Legislative Budget Board, we've compiled a quick comparison of the starting point of negotiations.

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Let the Games Begin: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, January 20, 2017

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

As the week ends with a historically unique presidential succession, politics in Texas have a more familiar ring as set pieces of the legislative session play out safely removed from that nasty Washington, D.C. swamp. Kind of. The week saw attempted mobilization of interest groups in the continuing efforts to shape the agenda, budgetary politics between the two chambers of the Legislature, fuel for the never-ending speculation on the next election cycle in Texas, the unveiling of committee assignments in the Senate, and a ruling in the running court battle over Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid in Texas.

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Money in the Bank, Public Opinion on Texas Statewides

| By: Joshua Blank

For those of us awaiting the updated campaign finance reports of Texas' top officials, the day has finally arrived! Here's a look at the account balance of each and their approval numbers from the October 2016 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

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A look at Donald Trump's Polling Numbers in Texas Heading into Inauguration

| By: Joshua Blank

On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, we thought it worthwhile to take a quick look at Texans' attitudes toward the very-soon-to-be-President just prior to his election in Texas.

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Senate Committees of the 85th Session in a Handy Table

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced today the Senate committees for the 85th Legislative session. Here's a look at what's changed and what's remained the same in one handy table. 

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Following Up on Public Support for Lt. Governor Patrick's Priorities

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

We're with the Lt. Governor on using UT/TT polling data in political and policy coverage in which public opinion data contributes to informing the public. In the wake of his claim that "I think all of the bills we've released as priorities are supported by Republicans and Democrats" in an interview with Evan Smith, we've gone through our data archive and found polling results relevant to fifteen of the Lt. Governor's declared priorities, including extensive crosstabs.

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The Legislative Success of the Anti-Straus Voters in 2015 and Their Gambit on the Speaker Vote in 2017

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The only somewhat interesting question amidst the opening ceremonies of the of the 85th Legislature is whether the House of Representatives will re-elect San Antonio Republican Joe Straus Speaker of the House by acclaim or by a record vote. The latter would require House dissidents who have endeared themselves to conservative activists in the interest group universe and in their districts by criticizing Straus to make a tough choice. Voting for Straus as Speaker on the public record creates a potential liability among the anti-Straus interest groups who are active participants in GOP primary elections. A recorded vote against Straus provides a public sign of opposition and invites being marginalized by the leadership in things like committee assignments and the treatment of their bills – which also potentially affects a member’s reelection prospects.

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Keywords: 85th Legislature

With Dan Patrick Expected to Announce Re-Election Bid, Some Polling Numbers

A New Year's Dose of Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, January 8, 2017

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The first week of the New Year brought with it an unsurprising uptick in political signaling in the run-up to the advent of the 85th Texas Legislature. Speaker Straus gave an interview that sent some selected signals to both legislative chambers, while the Lt. Governor, having released a few lists of priorities before the holiday break, zeroed in on bathroom access Friday. In more indirect moves, Attorney General Ken Paxton released some strong fundraising numbers and an Austin-resident, ABC pundit, and scold of the two parties confirmed rumors that had circulated all through the fall that he was considering running in 2018 as an independent for the Texas Senate seat currently held by Ted Cruz. On the national front, the Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings in which testimony confirmed (along with a newly released report) that US intelligence agencies largely agreed that Russia intervened in the US election with the goals of de-legitimizing the process in the eyes of the world (and, presumably, Americans, it would seem), and also to aid Donald Trump.

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