Keyword: 2020 Election

The Deeply Polarized Public Opinion Context of Texas House Democrats’ Flight to D.C. to Obstruct GOP Voting Laws

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

we’ve gathered some recent polling results that illustrate (yet again) deep divisions along partisan lines related to almost all aspects of voting. We start with results from University of Texas/Texas Tribune polling conducted during the session on specific proposals, some of which were in the late, not very lamented SB 7, and which have been resurrected in the new voting bills passed out of committees in the House and Senate over the weekend. We’ve also included results that illustrate those same stark, partisan divisions in attitudes and beliefs about how elections worked in 2020, how they worked in Texas, specifically, and dispositions about what needs to be done in the realm of election laws. 

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The Second Reading Podcast: A Primary Challenger for the Governor While the Texas House Responds to the Pandemic

A round-up of Texas leaders’ job approval ratings in the midst of multiple crises

| By: Jim Henson

The latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll contained our usual complement of assessments of Texas political leaders. In such an eventful historical environment, every polling period now seems to have some kind of major event -- in the artless language of the social sciences, we’ll call it some kind of “exogenous shock” -- and the period during which we collected data for this poll, February 12-19, was no exception, from the ongoing pandemic, the vaccine rollout, the statewide power outages, and some ill-timed travel by some state leaders. This post rounds up find job approval ratings and related results with some brief commentary and, where it seemed interesting, graphics of some relevant cross tabulations or trend data. 

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February 2021 UT/Texas Tribune Poll finds familiar partisanship in attitudes toward leaders, differences in views of elections in the U.S. and in Texas

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The Texas Tribune published the first batch of results from the February 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll today, which included job approval and favorability ratings for state and national leaders as well as snapshots of Texas attitudes toward the accuracy of elections.

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The Second Reading Podcast: A Conversation with Houston Chronicle D.C. Correspondent Ben Wermund

The Elephant in the Room: Texas Republicans Were Pretty Trumpy Before Trump

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

After four years of most major Texas Republican elected officials kowtowing to Donald Trump out of a mixture of deference and fear, Texas Republicans now seek paths for moving forward in his turbulent wake. They are in a different position than their national counterparts vis-a-vis Trump’s exit and how the experience of his presidency is to be incorporated into both the party’s identity and Republican elected officials’ political strategies. Trump has left the national party bereft, having lost the White House and presided over the GOP relegation to minority status in both houses of Congress (albeit narrowly in the Senate). But Republicans still reign in Texas, and are in a better position to navigate post-Trump politics than their national counterparts.

The key to understanding Texas Republican political leaders advantage is the fact that many invoked the central elements of Trump’s appeal in their rhetoric and policies long before Trump was a presidential candidate. Texas Republican voters respond positively to these themes, and, based on what years of Texas public opinion data tell us about their attitudes, a good chunk of them can be expected to continue responding to them even if Trump is not the one doing the articulating. 

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Majority of Republicans in the Texas Congressional Delegation Voted to Question Electoral College Results After Pro-Trump Attack on U.S. Capitol

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Among the Texas Congressional delegation, Ted Cruz had the expressed support of 11 of the 24 Republican members of the Texas delegation for his efforts to overturn the Electoral College results. In a likely portent of politics to come in Texas, support in the Texas delegation for Cruz's efforts was actually higher than expected when the time came to take votes – which, tellingly, came after pro-Trump rioters who shared those members skepticism about the 2020 election stormed the Captiol and disrupted Congress's role in the orderly transfer of power. 

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The Context for Texans' Roles in Obstructing the Counting of Electoral College Votes

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

 Different Texas actors in the latest phase of the presidential election have different and even multiple motivations. A look at some of the contextual data helps illuminate why so many Texas Republicans in Congress seem determined to place more stress on a Constitutional system they otherwise seem intent on defending as exceptional and under siege from others who don’t respect it enough.

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The Texas Context for Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Role in Donald Trump’s Circus

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s motion before the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss the election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia has put Paxton in the center ring of Donald Trump’s never ending circus of efforts to delegitimize the 2020 presidential election in the eyes of his followers. Trump’s motives in his seemingly Quixotic effort to undo the election as always are the subject of intense speculation, no doubt by design. As the national media reward both Trump and Paxton with a flurry of attention, however derisive, over Paxton’s legally dubious and baldly political effort before the court, it’s worth looking at the Texas context of Paxton's turn in the spotlight.

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The Second Reading Podcast: Addressing 2020 Presidential Polling Problems

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