Blog

Public Opinion and Gov. Abbott's State of the State Address

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

In his much-anticipated state of the state address before the legislature, Governor Abbott declared four emergency items. At the top of the list, as widely expected, he called the Legislature to work swiftly and comprehensively on addressing problems in child protective services and foster care. “Do it right!,” he exhorted them shortly before revealing it as his top emergency item. The Governor also declared banning Sanctuary cities, ethics reform, and a measure calling for a Convention of the states to consider constitutional amendments – one of his pet projects.

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When Evaluating Public Support for Immigration Ban, Look Beyond National Polling

| By: Joshua Blank

If one examines the attitudes held among the voters that Trump's executive action is intended to excite, either regionally and/or within the broader national polling data hidden within the crosstabs, the results are far from ambiguous.

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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

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