Keyword: Coronavirus

Does conservative support immunize Abbott from business resistance after latest vaccination order?

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Abbott’s ratcheting-up of COVID-19 policies that are demonstratively more attentive to limiting the autonomy of organizations (particularly businesses) to set health policies in the context of COVID than they are to public health writ large seems to be rankling some of the business-friendly groups allied with Texas Republican governance. But public opinion polling throughout the pandemic suggests that there remains a strong audience for Abbott’s approach among the Republican rank and file, even as independents can be expected to have mixed responses, and Democrats are widely and deeply opposed.

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The national media are focused on Texas politics again – but what are Texas voters paying attention to?

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

It’s hard not to be struck by the spike in political stories coming out of Texas making national news, and we shouldn’t expect the national spotlight to stop shining on the state any time soon.

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Texas Public Opinion and the agenda for the third special session of the Texas Legislature

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation calling for the third special session of the 87th Texas Legislature Tuesday afternoon, adding four items to the agenda in addition to the expected focus on redistricting, and setting September 20 for the legislature’s return. n addition to the Constitutionally mandated drawing of new district maps for the U.S. House of Representatives, the state legislature, and the State Board of Education, Abbott called on the legislature to consider and act on allocating federal COVID relief funds, “disallowing” students from competing in UIL athletics “designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth,” prohibiting COVID-19 vaccination mandates, and the dog abuse bill that the governor vetoed after the regular session. We’ve compiled results of recent polling to provide the public opinion context for all but one of the issues on the governor’s call. 

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New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll finds Texans dour and deeply divided

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll finds Texans in a dour mood colored by a resurgent COVID-19 virus, an economy recovering yet roiled by its impact, and state politics driven by increasingly entrenched and in many instances extreme partisanship, which is being accentuated by the Republican monopoly on state government. Texans expressed more worry about the surging pandemic and its effects than in June, and gave Governor Abbott the lowest job approval rating of his tenure in office. A majority – 52% –  said the state is headed in the wrong direction, the worst assessment of the direction of the state since the inception of this polling project in 2008.

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Updated trend data reveals impact of Delta variant on Texas attitudes toward COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to curb its impact

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The August 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll adds a seventh assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic to the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, adding to attitudes collected in batteries from polls conducted in April, June, and October of 2020, and February, April, June and now August of 2021. The time series allows reporters, researchers, elected leaders, public health officials, and the public a view of how Texans’ concerns about COVID, behaviors during the pandemic, and evaluations of the official responses have changed throughout a year of pandemic conditions in Texas.

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Keywords: Coronavirus

Partisan perceptions of COVID-19 danger to school kids persisted through the pandemic — and are fueling back-to-school fights over school policies

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The political conflicts over the authority to protect public health (or not) that have roiled the Texas political system since the earliest days of the pandemic are boiling over as school officials' efforts to protect children, teachers, and staff from a reinvigorated coronavirus now requires defying Gov. Abbott and his allies in all three branches of state government.

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Updated Trends in data from more than a year of polling continue to reveal often dramatic differences in Texas attitudes and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

The June 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll adds a sixth assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic to the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, adding to attitudes collected in batteries from polls conducted in April, June, and October of 2020, and February, April and June of 2021. The time series allows reporters, researchers, elected leaders, public health officials, and the public a view of how Texans’ concerns about COVID, behaviors during the pandemic, and evaluations of the official responses have changed throughout a year of pandemic conditions in Texas.

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Keywords: Coronavirus

With their approval numbers sagging, Texas GOP leaders double down on their primary voters

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The shifts in Texans’ approval of the jobs the Governor and other statewide officials have done during an unprecedented period of crisis in the state provide a critical context for understanding the trajectory of state politics as we enter a key interlude in the intertwined legislative and election cycles.

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Trends in data from a year of polling reveal often dramatic differences in Texas attitudes and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

The April 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll adds a fifth assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic to the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, adding to attitudes collected in batteries from polls conducted in April, June, and October of 2020, and February and April of 2021. The time series allows reporters, researchers, elected leaders, public health officials, and the public a view of how Texans’ concerns about COVID, behaviors during the pandemic, and evaluations of the official responses have changed throughout a year of pandemic conditions in Texas.

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Keywords: Coronavirus

With or without masks, immigration and border security rally the Texas Republican base

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

It took a lethal pandemic that has killed more than 46,000 Texans to temporarily distract Texas Republicans from their persistent preoccupation with immigration and border security. But the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll shows that as yet another migrant crisis emerges on the Texas border with a Democratic President seeking to take action on U.S. immigration policy, the nativism that defined Republican politics for the last decade is again rising to the surface among the Republican base.

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