Keyword: Dennis Bonnen

Job approval data from Speaker Phelan’s first term + historical Speaker approval ratings from the Texas Politics Project data archive

| By: Jim Henson

While gathering some polling data for revisions I’m making to lecture notes for intro to Texas politics and government courses, I belatedly noticed that we have an unusual amount of job approval ratings for the new Speaker of the House as a result of the increased number of polls we’ve conducted so far this year. 

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Second Reading Podcast: A conversation with James Barragán about the 87th Texas Legislature

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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As pandemic worsens in Texas, Governor Abbott’s job approval slips, ratings of other Texas leaders remain largely static as views of the Texas economy darken according to June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

We released the remaining results of the June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll today. This post focuses on Texans' assessment of the state's political leaders, the state of the economy in Texas, and the direction the state is headed.

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Speaker Bonnen bangs the big boxes - but who's listening?

| By: Jim Henson

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Dennis Bonnen Tweeted himself back onto the radar screens of the Texas political class today with an 11-part thread attacking “our largest home improvement superstores.” There’s no payoff in paraphrasing just how sharp his attack on esteemed institutions in GOP strongholds across the state was today; only direct quotes will do.

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An Impeachment, a House Scandal and the 2020 Elections could bedevil Texas GOP

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Amidst the historic national implications of the now all-but-certain impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, a renewed focus on questions of corruption and abuse of power in the White House threatens Republican Texas incumbents’ near-monoply of the state’s political system.

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The public opinion underpinning of Texas GOP leaders' pivot back to immigration and border security

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

We wrote earlier this week about the very real possibility that despite a legislative session defined by a concerted effort to focus on "the big issues," it would be difficult for statewide leaders to provide their incumbent members with much insulation from the chaotic national political environment based on legislative acheivements. The public unveiling of another National Guard deployment accompanied by sharp criticism of a national government that includes a Republican President and Senate majority hedges bets on those legislative achievements -- and nods heavily toward the Republican primaries in March 2020. 

Below is a quick round-up of some relevant polling data from the June 2019 UT/Texas Tribune Poll.

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Texans' Faint Praise for the Legislature could get swamped by National Politics

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Judgments about the actual policy achievements of the 86th necessarily await their implementation and evidence of sustainability. In the meantime, legislative incumbents will hope to bask in the faint praise they earned in 2019, while worrying that they might well be drowned out in another election year defined by the deafening volume of chaotic national politics. 

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The polling told you so: The sales tax trial balloon plummets to earth

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The Texas Senate’s rejection of the much-hyped proposal by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House to ask voters to approve a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax has produced what passes for high drama in the Capitol. The Senate’s outright rejection of an approach promoted by its presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, only worsened the already obvious problems in the House, where Democrats are publicly unified in their opposition amidst lower-key but palpable skepticism among House members who have to run in GOP primaries next year. (Shortly after the original version of this post appeared in TribTalk on May 7, the House sponsor of the bills pulled them from consideration, all but guaranteeing the death of the sales tax increase.)

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Mandate or machinations? Unpacking efforts to set the legislative agenda

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Set aside the hand-waving and vague muttering that “elections have consequences,” and the evidence for a public mandate on school finance and propert taxes is pretty thin. It likely has more to do with the new governing dynamic among Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and Dennis Bonnen.

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