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.
Data from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll suggests that the issues Sen. Dan Patrick invokes in the latest ad in his bid for lieutenant governor serve up very inviting bait for conservative voters, the big fish in GOP primary elections.
The regular Texas legislative session was notable for bipartisan coalitions and harmony. The special sessions have been notable for partisan battles and stalemates. To understand what's going on, just look at the voters.
Republican voters in Texas still have immigration and border security atop their lists of most important problems facing the state, and their sway over members of the Texas delegation will be noted by political colleagues and potential opponents alike.
Texas voters are concerned about public ethics, and about some of the issues that have attached to the governor over the last 12 years — but they're partisan about it, and that has made all the difference for Rick Perry.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst currently enjoys the unenviable status of being the least popular of the major statewide Republican elected officials in Texas, according to an analysis of his approval numbers and standing in election matchups.
While Gov. Rick Perry’s standing among Texans remains stronger than most of his “oops”-focused critics recognize, he can no longer count on the level of support he enjoyed among the state's conservatives four years ago.