In addition to its focus on Texans’ views of the issues facing the state a, the University of Texas / Texas Politics Project Poll regularly gages Texans' assessments of the state’s exclusively Republican leadership. As the political class in the state readies itself for the 2018 Elections and the 2019 legislative session, there have been small but notable shifts in voters’ estimations of their elected leaders’ job performance over the last few years.
we've compiled statewide polling results from April through July for elections going back to 2010 for President, Senator, and Governor. While it's certainly fair to say that Cruz's lead over O'Rourke is not as stout as one might expect given historical polling (in the polling data below, the lead for the GOP candidate at this point in the election cycle is 9 points on average), there's little evidence from the eventual election results that Cruz's lead isn't likely to grow as the campaign season begins in earnest, let alone when voters actually begin to cast their ballots. This is, of course, dependent on how much past patterns hold in the present and near future.
Texas Republican women's support of Donald Trump coexists with their tepid reaction to the ongoing attention to both everyday and high-profile cases of sexual harassment and violence. The gender politics triggered by Trump’s record with at least some of the women he encountered on the road from celebrity to the White House didn’t prevent millions of women from doing their part to vote him into office. And evidence from Texas offers little indication that the often explosive gender politics in the wake of Trump’s election have altered the fundamentals of Trump’s wellspring of support among Republican women.
As the national and international discussion of the larger role of Facebook and other social media applications rages in the wake of Russian subversion, the ongoing Cambridge Analytica revelations, and Mark Zuckerberg's appearances on Capitol Hill, attention has shifted away from the more mundane uses of Facebook by real live elected officials.
Even with all the current angst about Facebook data as a backdrop, we are interested in how members of the #TXLege use the social media platform given its nearly ubiquitous use by elected officials in the state. One-hundred-forty-one members of the Texas House and 28 Texas Senators posted on public campaign Facebook pages where they designated themselves as a “politician” or a “public official” during the 2017 Session. This makes Facebook a venue for interactions with constituents as well as a forum for public interaction with the legislature as a whole.
Given the array of attitudes toward immigration and citizenship among the voters who dominate both the selection of GOP statewide candidates as well as the selection of winners in the general election, these elected officials' remain eternally vigilant in their efforts to remain on the right side of the electorate – and each other – on all things related to immigration. The result is that they continue to channel the nativist impulses that course through their base, for better or for worse when it comes to major policy consequences of the Trump Administration's proposed changes to the U.S. Census.
Was the disappointment in O’Rourke’s performance warranted? Even a preliminary look at data from the campaign and election suggests it isn’t.
For years, Texas had a mythical independence that has somehow insulated the state’s culture and its politics from the nasty and increasingly deep-seated divisions that characterize so many other domains of American life. That’s now changed.
Texas, however unique in its own eyes, remains on the American political map, and its nation’s-first primary election expressed some national dynamics — and may provide some lessons, as national attention shifts to primaries elsewhere in the country.
On the Texas side of politics, this week felt like a flashback to last Spring, as the anti-sanctuary city law, the bathroom bill, and the general tone of the 85th Legislature all got rehearings. It’s hard not to feel yet again that there are much bigger goings-on nationally, as students not on spring break staged a national walk-out to protest inaction on gun policy, the Democrats won a squeaker in a Pennsylvania special election, and we discovered what many presupposed, that Special Counsel Mueller has some questions about the Trump business empire and its connections to Russians. Read on for Texas public opinion data linked to some of the big stories from the week in politics.
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.