Joshua Blank

The Tale of Senator Cornyn's Poll Numbers as Democrats Line Up For the Chance To Challenge Him in 2020

July 23, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The recent addition of two more names to the list of Democratic primary candidates vying to face incumbent U.S. Senator John Cornyn again raises the immediate question of Cornyn’s prospects in 2020. We focus on University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling data to look at Cornyn’s position among the Texas electorate to assess the position of the U.S. Senator that has held the office since 2002, a political eternity for a Texas Republican Party that took control of the state the same year. Cornyn was there at the beginning of the period of GOP dominance and has risen to one of the top positions in the Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate. Yet his standing in his home state, even through two successful reelection campaigns, has always suffered in comparison both to the political leaders that were his contemporaries and to the more recent generation of GOP elected officials who rose in his shallow wake.

Castro and O’Rourke’s Standing in Texas ahead of First Democratic Debates

June 25, 2019
By: 
Joshua Blank

At this, admittedly, extremely early stage in the process, let’s take a look at where each stands among Texas voters, and in particular, Texas Democrats and liberals ahead of the first Democratic debates.

The public opinion underpinning of Texas GOP leaders' pivot back to immigration and border security

June 21, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

We wrote earlier this week about the very real possibility that despite a legislative session defined by a concerted effort to focus on "the big issues," it would be difficult for statewide leaders to provide their incumbent members with much insulation from the chaotic national political environment based on legislative acheivements. The public unveiling of another National Guard deployment accompanied by sharp criticism of a national government that includes a Republican President and Senate majority hedges bets on those legislative achievements -- and nods heavily toward the Republican primaries in March 2020. 

Below is a quick round-up of some relevant polling data from the June 2019 UT/Texas Tribune Poll.

Texans' Faint Praise for the Legislature could get swamped by National Politics

June 20, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Judgments about the actual policy achievements of the 86th necessarily await their implementation and evidence of sustainability. In the meantime, legislative incumbents will hope to bask in the faint praise they earned in 2019, while worrying that they might well be drowned out in another election year defined by the deafening volume of chaotic national politics. 

Attitudes Toward Donald Trump in Texas as His Re-election Campaign Kicks Off

June 19, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Donald Trump formally kicked off his presidential campaign in Orlando, Florida this week, amplified by a (now classic) Trump injection of immigration politics. We've assembled various aspects of Texas voter attitudes toward him based on data from the just-released June 2019 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Trump's Mexican Trade War Could Imperil Texas Republicans in 2020

June 4, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

President Trump’s announced plan to pressure the Mexican government to stop the flow of migrants from Central America by imposing a blanket tariff on goods imported into the U.S. risks economic disruption, and political headaches for GOP incumbents on the ballot in 2020.

Why is the Lieutenant Governor Killing the House’s Buzz on Marijuana Decriminalization and Medical Cannabis?

May 9, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Talk of the Texas Legislature passing some legislation to lighten the state’s traditionally harsh marijuana laws have been in the air since long before the 86th legislature got underway in January. The expectations, cultivated by a combination of optimistic advocates and click-seeking news outlets, were fleetingly validated with the House of Representatives’ passage of Rep. Joe Moody’s bill (ultimately watered down) containing reduced misdemeanor penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and lowering the threshold for having those convictions expunged from one’s record. 

The euphoria among supporters, however, was short lived.

The polling told you so: The sales tax trial balloon plummets to earth

May 8, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The Texas Senate’s rejection of the much-hyped proposal by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House to ask voters to approve a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax has produced what passes for high drama in the Capitol. The Senate’s outright rejection of an approach promoted by its presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, only worsened the already obvious problems in the House, where Democrats are publicly unified in their opposition amidst lower-key but palpable skepticism among House members who have to run in GOP primaries next year. (Shortly after the original version of this post appeared in TribTalk on May 7, the House sponsor of the bills pulled them from consideration, all but guaranteeing the death of the sales tax increase.)

A Look at the New District Runs Reflecting HJR 3 and HB 4621, with Links to Spreadsheets

May 2, 2019
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

We've made the new runs released by the House committee available in a spreadsheets for 2020 and 2021 via Google Drive, should you want to interact with the data yourself. 

In Texas, Partisanship Trumps Immigration in Latino Republicans’ Support for President

April 17, 2019
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Given the widely recognized demographic trajectory of the state, the political attitudes of Latino voters in Texas remains one of the topics most likely come up in any and all discussions of the state’s electoral future. The approach of a recent article in The Conversation by Stella Rouse and Shibley Telhami with the highly clickable title “How Latinos Really Feel About Trump” got us thinking about the Texas-specific answers to some of the questions raised by the authors about Latinos nationally. 

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