Joshua Blank, PhD

Joshua Blank is the Research Director of the Texas Politics Project. Born in New York, NY, he has a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston University and a doctoral degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin.      

Biden is Second Choice Among Clinton Supporters in Texas - But Still a Long Shot

August 27, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

If Biden's rationale for entering the primary is to win the nomination, his only real chance (without guarantee of success) is for one of the most durable political figures of the last two-plus decades of American politics to be forced out of the race by circumstances. This is closer to the presidency than virtually anyone in America ever gets – but far from a sure thing for Biden.

GOP Attitudes Could Be Cruz's Trump Card in Texas

August 23, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Voting is still months away, but a Donald Trump vs. Ted Cruz showdown in the Texas GOP primary next year is a distinct possibility. Based on polling, Trump's campaign rhetoric is likely finding a receptive audience in Texas - but one already very supportive of Ted Cruz.

Before Trump Raised It, Majority of Texas Voters Favored Repeal of Birthright Citizenship

August 20, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

While proposals to repeal birthright citizenship have not been widely or consistently discussed proposals in the mainstream, University of Texas/Texas Tribune polling has included an item on this proposal as part of a battery of questions that explored different attitudes toward a range of immigration policy proposals in the February 2011.

Rick Perry Exit From 2016 Contest Would Likely Benefit Ted Cruz in Texas Primary Race

August 11, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

The news of the Rick Perry campaign's problems meeting payroll is feeding expectations that the former Texas governor's second bid for the presidential nomination is nearing its end. Their messaging notwithstanding, it's fair to consider the possible implications of a Perry exit by looking at who the Texas Perry supporters said would be their second choice among the remaining candidates in the June 2015 UT/Texas Tribune Poll.

5 Takeaways from the new UT/TT Poll

June 25, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

With a new slate of statewide leaders in charge, key questions about the tenor of Texas politics loomed large as the legislative session unfolded. New polling provides some preliminary answers.

Race and Attitudes Toward the Police in Texas

June 8, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Last week's incident in McKinney, TX involving a local police officer and a group of black teens has fed the ongoing national conversation about policing and race – a difficult topic made all the more challenging by the multiple dimensions involved in this instance, which include race, class, and views of law enforcement, to name just a few of the big ones.

Presidential Candidate Google Search Tracker

June 6, 2015
By: 
Joshua Blank, PhD
Jim Henson, PhD

With the 2016 GOP Presidential Primary likely to pit at least four candidates with Texas roots against one another (Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul), we've using Google Trends data on each of these candidates to provide a proximate measure of how much attention the candidates are getting via Google searches. In a sense, this data highlights who is receiving the most interest from the public at a given point in time during the campaign. The graphics are dynamically updated to display data from today along with the previous 12-months. 

Who Really Wants Tax Relief — and Why

May 20, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Headlines and rhetoric out of the Texas Legislature this year suggest that the public is clamoring for tax relief. But the polling says otherwise.

The Texas GOP's One-Armed Hug of HB 4105 and the Politics of Fighting Gay Marriage

May 15, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Public opinion trends in Texas leading up to the defeat of HB 4105 make it seem likely that last night was probably the Texas Legislature's last substantial effort to ban same sex marriage rights with any hope of succeeding.  

Public Opinion and Abortion "Harmony" in Texas and the U.S.

May 6, 2015
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

In a piece in The New York Times' Upshot blog, Lynn Vavreck, a political scientist at U.C.L.A., notes a surprising degree of 'harmony' amongst the public when it comes to abortion attitudes. Attitudes in Texas largely reflect the attitudes Vavreck finds in the national data, though Texas attitudes evidence  a higher degree of polarization between Democrats and Republicans on the issue.

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