Blog

Leaning or Tossed Up? Three Scenarios for Texas Based on the Presidential Polls

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

As we anticipate the results of the election, we can construct 3 different scenarios envisioning different election results in Texas. A “business-as-usual” scenario anticipates the election following typical characteristics and dynamics of Texas elections; another scenario might give more emphasis to some of the distinctive, specific factors that seem at play in this election as evidenced in recent poll results; and an X-factor scenario that might emphasize the possibility of a very significant divergence from patterns both recent polling and history have led us to expect.

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Some Back of the Envelope Ciphering On Clinton's Chances in Texas

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

With final voter registration numbers counted and new polls showing a narrowing race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it seems a good time for some back of the envelope arithmetic on the prospects of a Clinton victory. There is no high falutin modeling at work here – just some rough calculations about how much the Texas vote would have to differ from the last few presidential elections for Hillary Clinton to get more votes than Donald Trump. Our goal is to paint as rosy a scenario for Clinton as possible to get her over the line in Texas, albeit without requiring a total suspension of disbelief.

Whatever the polling is telling us, It turns out that the voting scenario has to be very rosy for Clinton to gain Texas’ electoral votes.

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Video of the Entire Conversation with Comptroller Glenn Hegar at UT Austin

| By: Jim Henson

We've now posted the entire conversation from Glenn Hegar's appearance in the Texas Politics Speaker Series on October 12.  Topics include: the biennial revenue estimate' the breakfasts he attended last session with the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Speaker of the House; state and local government; taxes and revenue; room in the budget for tax cutting; Medicaid; the 2016 presidential race; and more.  Also included are his responses in the Q & A portion of the event,

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Comptroller Hegar Talks Sorting State and Local Government, the Presidential Election

| By: Jim Henson

The Texas Politics Project hosted Comptroller Glenn Hegar as part of the Texas Politics Speaker Series at the University of Texas at Austin yesterday.  We'll publish the whole interview soon, but in the meantime here are two brief excerpts.  The first clip, about the 2016 election, came in response to a question from the Austin American Statesman's Sean Walsh, who wrote about Hegar's response. The second clip finds the Comptroller channeling his legislative experience in response a question about the ongoing discussions about the balance of power between state and local governments.  Not to put words in his mouth, but it seems fair to paraphrase his response as "same ole, same ole." 

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The Emerging Agenda for the 85th Legislature: Notes from Two Panels at Trib Fest

| By: Jim Henson

It’s not lost on participants in the legislative process, from members to their staffs, from the lobby to the state agencies, that the maneuvering to shape the agenda of the 85th Texas Legislature is well underway.  While the 2016 presidential election dominates political coverage even more than usual, outside the spotlight the pace and volume of efforts to get issues on the state legislature's agenda increase daily. The Texas Tribune’s annual festival at UT Austin weekend before last generated lots of clues about what issues might rise to the surface --  and glimpses of how the friction between the chambers, as well as within and between the parties, is  shaping the jockeying for position in Austin.

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Texas Polling Data for the Texas Tribune Festival

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

Impulse to conserve the Constitution could block Texas' call for a convention

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Comparatively higher levels of support among liberals for a constitutional convention might well reinforce conservative impulses to defend the status quo — the threat of liberal change could outweigh the promise of changes justified in the call.

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Amended Endorsements & Endorsed Amendments: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – September 16, 2016

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

In a week that found Governor Abbott a little more committed to Donald Trump, the legislature continued to hold hearings that provide glimpses at possible agenda items as the universe around the state capitol comes to terms with the fact that Legislature will be back in session in less than four months. Two issues were on display this week that defy conventional coalition politics – a familiar one of finding a way to subsidize private schools with public funds, and the more esoteric subject of holding a Constitutional Convention to consider changes to the U.S. Constitution. Ted Cruz also made his way back into the news this week by being nice to some of his GOP colleagues and being not so nice to the Obama Administration. A new statewide poll grabbed headlines by finding Trump leading Clinton in the first major poll to switch over to focusing on likely voters.

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Assessing Attitudes in Trump's Texas Basket

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Hillary Clinton’s riff in a speech to campaign contributors last week that “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables....The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it,” has invited mostly negative responses. 

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Monkey Business? Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – September 9, 2016

| By: James Henson and Joshua Blank

The traditional post-Labor Day intensification of the presidential campaign didn’t disappoint, as the week began with the release of a massive 50-state poll from the Washington Post and Survey Monkey that put Texas in the national discussion of presidential polling (if you’re into that sort of thing). Donald Trump dominated campaign news at week’s-end with another round of praise for Vladimir Putin. Closer to home, several education issues heated up: the State Board of Education debated the textbook Mexican American Heritage and, well, Mexican-American heritage, Lt. Governor Patrick renewed his call to end in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants, and the Texas Education Agency called for class size limits in pre-kindergarten. Read on for polling data and comment...​

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