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Texas Republicans’ views of January 6 align with views of the 2020 election and Donald Trump

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Three years after rioters violently overran the U.S. Capitol and disrupted the counting of electoral college votes to ratify Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, the deep divisions and decay in institutional trust that fueled the riot remain starkly apparent in Texas public opinion.  

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December UT/Texas Politics Project Poll: After long legislative session, Texas voters have not-so-great expectations

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

After a bruising 2023 legislative session extended by four special sessions, Texas voters continue to convey little confidence in legislative efforts to address key problems in the state such as the reliability of the grid, public school safety, and improved border security, according to a University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll conducted in early December. When asked about their support for key legislative priorities during the session, the issues deemed most important by the largest shares of voters were areas in which the legislature either failed to pass significant legislation or achieved mixed results.

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Job approval trends for Texas statewide incumbents and other trend data from the Texas Politics Project poll data archive (December 2023 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll update)

| By: Texas Politics Project

This page compiles graphics for trends in job approval ratings of the current statewide incumbents (Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senators) that Texans rate on every poll. Bookmark the page for easy reference – we’ve also added similar graphics for trends in Texans’ assessment of conditions in Texas and the U.S., and some archival results for comparison with leaders no longer in office.

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

| By: Texas Politics Project

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.
 

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Second Reading Podcast: Another special session in Texas set to end with a whimper

| By: Texas Politics Project

Jim Henson and Josh Blank look the state of play in the final days of the special session, and discuss how to assess the overall performance of the 88th Legislature.
 

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Revisiting Texas attitudes on immigration and border security as Abbott doubles down in McAllen with Donald Trump

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

As the Thanksgiving holiday and the expiration date of a fourth special session of the Texas Legislature draw near, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Republican legislative majority are close to enacting a new batch of legislation related to immigrants and border security that yet again push the boundaries of both the U.S. Constitution and historical norms around the treatment of migrants and immigrants in the U.S.. Expect the new legal and rhetorical boundaries (or lack thereof) around “securing the border” to be on full display when Gov. Abbott and Donald Trump stage a joint visit to McAllen this weekend, where Abbott is expected to endorse Trump’s bid to return to the White House and the two are expected to discuss “future plans for curbing illegal immigration.”

Even as people who work in the Texas Capitol continue to obsess about the death match over school choice playing out in the legislature in the final days of the special session, it should be no surprise that Republicans from Trump and Abbott down to legislative backbenchers all view immigration and border security as their political lifelines after a bruising year of unprecedented political infighting. With the prospects of delivering an ESA/voucher/choice bill still too close to call amidst continued resistance in the Texas House, there's no denying the political logic of keeping immigration and border security on the legislative agenda, which sustain Republican campaigns in both primary and general election campaigns more than any other policy issues.

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Assessing Ken Paxton’s political standing after his impeachment escape

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The Attorney General’s current and promised public efforts to strike back at enemies from within his own party make questions about Paxton’s standing with the public – especially Republican voters’ views of the now concluded impeachment and trial, and of Paxton himself – a practical matter for incumbent legislators preparing to face primary challengers who, in some cases, will be looking to rely on Paxton’s support. To a lesser extent, but maybe more consequentially, these public perceptions also bear on the question of how much deep funders of those challengers will attempt to use Paxton as an asset in their recurring efforts to dislodge Republicans not to their liking.

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Second Reading Podcast: Texas public opinion toward vouchers and Ken Paxton in the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll

| By: Texas Politics Project

 Jim Henson and Joshua Blank look at Texans' views of vouchers as the legislature remains at an impasse on the issue, and discuss what the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll reveals about views of Ken Paxton as his securities fraud trial begins in Houston.

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New UT/ Texas Politics Project Poll: Trump still dominates presidential race in Texas, no movement on vouchers, and signs of a Paxton recovery among Republicans

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

With one year to go before the 2024 presidential election, the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds former president Donald Trump dominating a crowded Republican primary field and holding a comfortable lead in a hypothetical re-match with President Joe Biden, who faces no serious competition in the Democratic primary so far. The poll also asked Texans about educational savings accounts and other public education issues at the center of the third special session of the 88th Texas Legislature currently underway in Austin. The poll found a modest majority, 51%, supportive of “establishing a voucher, educational savings account, or other ‘school choice’ program in Texas,” with slightly less than a third, 30%, opposed, and 19% holding no opinion. The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll was conducted October 5-17, 2023, among 1200 self-declared registered voters in Texas. The margin error for topline results is +/- 2.83% (3.3% adjusted for weighting).

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Second Reading Podcast: Early soundings of the 2024 election season in the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll

| By: Texas Politics Project

Jim Henson, Josh Blank, and Daron Shaw discuss results related to the 2024 election in the just-released UT/Texas Politics Project Poll.

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