Jim Henson

Pausing for a Clear-Eyed Look at the Cruz-O'Rourke Match Up

March 7, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

One might forgive the hyperbole (at least at this early stage) given the national press’s frequent (if not uniform) infatuation with O’Rourke. For a more measured look of where this race starts, data from several University of Texas / Texas Tribune Polls, including the most recent one conducted last month, sheds light on where the two Senate candidates stand among Texas’ voters.

The Texas Public Opinion Landscape as Texas Kicks Off the 2018 Primary Season

March 5, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

With NPR referencing Texas' first in the nation primary and Chuck Todd using last weekend’s Meet the Press “Data Download” segment to develop his “hunch” about a Democratic wave in Texas based on early voting totals, the Texas primary elections will be in the spotlight this week. The eve of primary election day seems a good time to review the non-trial ballot polling data from the February University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll. We asked several questions unrelated to the horse races – about which attitudes were fairly underdeveloped when we were collecting data, as expected – that provide some information about the political terrain upon which the primaries will be fought by a small sliver of the Texas electorate.

Hopelessly Devoted: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, March 2, 2018

March 2, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

As the party primaries got predictably nasty in the final week of campaigning before the March 6 election, Democratic early voting surged all week, a real phenomena that launched a thousand fundraising emails and at least a few flights of fancy, especially from those who can’t resist trying to turn a good thing into a fantastic thing. Donald Trump and Robert Mueller continued to make headlines, likely deepening the partisan divides in perceptions of their respective endeavors.  Continue on for data on public opinion related to the torrent of political events this week, much of it freshly gathered in the latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll.

Numbers to Know from the Latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll

February 23, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

66, 81, 67, -21, 77... and other telling numbers hiding in plain sight in the latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll.

Trump's Shadow in Texas as Primary Voting Begins

February 21, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Amidst the discussion of how much the Texas midterm elections will be nationalized — in effect, a referendum on Donald Trump — the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll provides an opportunity to look closely at Trump’s place in the attitudinal landscape of Texans.

A change in the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll’s primary voter sample

February 19, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

In the February 2018 poll released today, we rely on past vote history to determine whether or not we should consider someone to be a likely voter, and in particular, past primary voting history. For a respondent’s opinion to be considered in our primary trial ballot estimates, he or she had to have participated in a Texas party primary in 2012, 2014, or 2016.

The perils of primary election polling

February 13, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

With primary elections in Texas just days away, public opinion polling is inevitably seeping into the discussion of an unusually active political season. Campaigns are starting to release their internal polling in efforts to shape the news coverage and perception of races, and of course the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll will follow its more or less regular schedule and appear sometime prior to Election Day. Purveyors of public polls like the UT/Texas Tribune Poll are once again faced with the unenviable task of providing context and (unfortunately) implied predictions about what’s going to happen in nominating contests for the state’s top offices. 

Riding the Wave: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, February 9, 2018

February 8, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The week started with very bad news for Lupe Valdez, while state campaign finance reports revealed how the Governor and Lt. Governor are spending their campaign largesse in the absence of any real primary challengers. Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune also posited the absence of one of the issues that roiled the legislative session in primary campaigns, despite some predictions (even promises) to the contrary. We took a break on national politics this week, though we note with many others that some national polling is suggesting that the much-discussed Democratic wave might be breaking farther from shore than exuberant Democrats and glum Republicans have been thinking.

If Your Memo Serves You Well: Texas Data Points from the Week in Texas Politics, February 2, 2018

February 2, 2018
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Political courage took a back seat to political calculation as the renegade memo on the investigation of Carter Page was made public, completing the eclipse of the President’s State of the Union and, at least for the moment, the increasingly corrosive immigration debate. While the fiddling continues in a smoldering Washington, D.C., the Comptroller delivered bad news of a more mundane variety to the Senate Finance Committee this week, while financial bad news of a different sort added to the woes of a (somewhat) surprisingly beleaguered George P. Bush in his increasingly contentious primary battle to remain Land Commissioner. Beto had better financial news than either Glenn or George P. (That sentence shows why the first name thing works better for O’Rourke). National media attention to a report on white supremacist groups focusing recruiting efforts on college campuses featured their fairly piddling efforts on Texas campuses, through our data suggests that White Supremacy pretty clearly doesn’t have a data analytics department.

Donald Trump's Standing in Texas Ahead of the State of the Union Address

January 30, 2018
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

Donald Trump will give his first official State of the Union Address tonight at 8 PM central time (his first speech to Congress upon being elected in 2017 isn't technically a State of the Union Address). Here are five quick observations about Donald Trump's standing in Texas to provide some context for tonight's address – to wit, he has been consistently popular among Texas Republicans, just as consistently intensely unpopular among Texas Democrats, and remains in better standing with his GOP base in Texas than the collective members of Congress he'll be addressing tonight.

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