Blog

As Cornyn and Hegar take the stage, has the script for the U.S. Senate campaign in Texas changed?

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Bereft of a candidate with statewide stature and drowned out by the roar of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic calamity, the statewide run-off election to choose a Democratic nominee to challenge John Cornyn’s bid for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate limped to a conclusion Tuesday night, when self-declared outsider M.J. Hegar defeated longtime State Senator Royce West of Dallas by about 4 percentage points. The Texas-politics-as usual feel of this likely evasion, amplified by such a radically changed political environment  – the renewed confrontation with racism, the pandemic, the associated economic crash – raise a question: Do fundamental assumptions about both candidates’ positioning made in the early stages of the campaign last year still work for them? 

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The Second Reading Podcast: Texans Views on Discrimination, Race, Police, and Protests (Recorded July 14, 2020)

| By: Texas Politics Project

Bet you didn't know the Texas Politics Project had a podcast unless you were a UT student. 

For this week's Second Reading podcast,  Jim Henson and Joshua Blank continue a mutli-episode discussion of some of the results of the recently released UT/Texas Politics Project poll. Today's show, recorded the morning of Tuesday, July 14, focuses on Texans' opinions on discrimination, race, policing, and the recent protests in response to George Floyd's death and racism in the United States.

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Keywords: Discrimination, Police, Race

The Mood in the State as (Some) Texans Vote in Primary Run-Offs

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

While we should expect only a very small fraction of the eligible electorate, or even of registered voters, to show up for run-off elections, there is a pretty good crop of run-off races for party nominations. The composition of the electorate is the big unknown here, which has made any early public polling in these races difficult, and, in particular, has contributed to making the public polling in the U.S. Senate run-off a pretty speculative enterprise. But we do have a lot of data from the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll conducted very recently (June 19-29), as well as a lot of comparison and trend data, to illustrate the volatile and generally worried mood of the electorate. 

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Can Republican Leaders in Texas Break with Trump on COVID-19 Before It’s Too Late?

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The effort to mobilize as many Texans as possible to support necessary public health measures to contain the pandemic will be hurt if Republicans are demonized as not participating in the effort by virtue of their political party. It’s simply not the case.

But that said, the share of Republican voters whose attitudes about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic reflect a minimalist view of the risks associated with the virus, and whose reported behavior reflects a rejection of the containment measures being urged by public health authorities, did grow substantially between April and June. 

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The Second Reading Podcast: COVID-19, Race, and Partisanship in the New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll (Recorded July 7, 2020)

| By: Texas Politics Project

Bet you didn't know the Texas Politics Project had a podcast unless you were a UT student. 

For this week's Second Reading podcast, Jim Henson and Joshua Blank start what will be a mutli-episode discussion of some of the results of the recently released UT/Texas Politics Project poll. Today's show, recorded the morning of Tuesday, July 7, focused on results related to the COVID-19 pandemic and ponders how to interpret the partisan patterns in attitudes around the pandemic. They also begin discussing some of the results of a battery of questions related to perceptions of discrimination in the U.S., and some of the partisan differences present in those attitudes.

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Texans divided by race and party on policing and protests, while overall support rises for Black Lives Matter, moving public Confederate monuments

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

We released the remaining results of the June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll today, which included a set of questions on attitudes about racial discrimination, policing, and the recent protests focused on both. As we’ve done with other question areas in the poll, we’ve gathered these results to present them with graphics and highlighted some possible points of interest.  

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As pandemic worsens in Texas, Governor Abbott’s job approval slips, ratings of other Texas leaders remain largely static as views of the Texas economy darken according to June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

We released the remaining results of the June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll today. This post focuses on Texans' assessment of the state's political leaders, the state of the economy in Texas, and the direction the state is headed.

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June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll reveals that many Texans’ concern about COVID-19 decreased as the pandemic surged in Texas

| By: Jim Henson

We released the remaining results of the June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll today, including responses to a large battery of questions on attitudes toward the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic that reveal how Texans’ concerns about COVID-19 decreased even as the pandemic was surging in Texas in late June (the survey was conducted between June 19-29). The overall decline in concern was evident in both attitudes and reported behaviors. In most measures, Republicans as a group convey lower levels of concern about vulnerability to COVID-19 and its effects, and report following public health guidliness for slowing the spread of the pandemic at lower rates than do Democrats and politicial independents.

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A pre-4th of July preview of a new UT/Texas Politics Project Poll

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Going into a grim July 4 weekend defined by a resurgent COVID-19 in Texas, a new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds most Texans acutely aware of the hobbled economy and a country limping along on the wrong track. Yet amidst this dark view of the trajectory of the country, Republican partisans continue to view President Trump with the same devotion given him prior to the eruption of the country's multiple current crises, with Trump holding onto a 4-point lead in the presidential race with Joe Biden. This post previews Texans’ views of the President and their assessments of the overall state of the country captured in the poll, which was conducted June 19-29. More results covering a range of topics including the coronavirus pandemic, race, policing, and assessment of the states elected leaders will be released after the holiday weekend. 

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Texas Attitudes Toward Donald Trump as the President Returns to Texas for a Roundtable and More Fundraising

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Recent polls showing a close contest between Trump and former vice president Joe Biden in Texas have been getting a lot of play in news media coverage. While there’s little doubt that the parties are getting more competitive in Texas, there’s also little doubt that early summer polling is a poor predictor of the final outcome.  There will be lots of time to mull this as polling accumulates here.  For now, we’ve gathered University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll results that illustrate Trump’s standing in Texas, with particular attention to cross tabs for subgroups that add dimension to the overall numbers. (For those who want to dig still deeper, there are 132 items tagged with Donald Trump's name in our poll archive.)

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