Joshua Blank is the manager of polling and research at 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.
Education could be a tricky issue for gubernatorial candidates in 2014, with both the Democratic and Republican nominee having to navigate through unexpected cross-currents among their own constituencies.
An ever-expanding niche market of political junkies — and the specialized media that feeds it — finds news in polling results and in conflicts over polling practice. The release of internal polls becomes as much about shaping public opinion as it is about measuring it.
While the Hispanic vote has been the focus of much of the analysis of Democrats’ prospects for turning the Republican tide, in the short term, they will almost certainly need to look to suburban women — especially if Wendy Davis is at the top of the ticket.
For all the advantages that have lent the feel of an unofficial coronation to his candidacy for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott remains an undefined figure among many Texas voters, including as many as 40 percent of Republican primary voters.
The return of abortion bills during the special sessions presents opportunities for both Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis to consolidate support and financial backers. But the choices they make could result in a potentially complicated general election dynamic.
Many statewide Republican candidates are running to the right to position themselves for the primaries, but the Speaker of the House enjoys a rarified position: An office with statewide reach that doesn't appear on the statewide ballot.