Keyword: Discrimination

It's October, But Is Any of This Really Surprising? Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, October 2, 2020

| By: Jim Henson

The rules regulating voting in Texas got another restrictive twist this week when Governor Abbott issued a proclamation imposing new limits on the handling of mail-in ballots. Abbott’s action took place even as agitation among GOP dissidents on the right continued to pressure him for his exercise of executive power during the pandemic. One of those dissidents added more fuel to that fire Tuesday when she finished first in the special election in Texas Senate District 30. While all this was unfolding in Texas, apparently President Donald Trump was getting infected with COVID-19, which as the week ended diverted attention away from his reluctance to unambiguously reject White supremacist groups at the Tuesday’s unpleasant presidential debate, though it sheds a new light on his continuing underestimation at the debate of COVID-19 in general and preventative measures in particular. 

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Texas Attitudes on Race, Policing, and Protest as the GOP Doubles Down on Law and Order

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

With their parties’ national conventions behind them and the final phase of the presidential campaign set to begin after the Labor Day weekend, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden will seek to reinforce their framing of the campaign this week amidst the backdrop of continued attention to the reckoning with racism in the U.S. after recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Each seeks to mobilize a base that is likely unpersuadable by the other side given the combination of party polarization and the overwhelmingly negative perceptions that partisans hold of the opposing candidate — but which must be turned out in their respective entireties to maintain parity in the closely dividely country. Yet around the edges, these efforts to fire up partisan supporters can’t alienate the thin share of voters who are either undecided partisans, truly independent, or whose partisan inclination might be shaken by the volatile issues at the intersection of race and policing.

Trump’s efforts to paint Biden as a friend of anarchy and himself as the guarantor of law and order will depend little on the details of city budgets and crime rates, relying instead on predispositions and opinions on visceral issues like race, public safety, and stability. Texans’ attitudes at the intersection of race, policing, and the spectrum stretching from public protests to the meme of “civil unrest” illustrate the likely audiences for the coming efforts by both national presidential campaigns’ attempts to frame recent events to their advantage — the advantage resting in their ability to mobilize their bases while also landing appeals among the narrow band of voters whose votes are still up for grabs.

A set of questions in our 2020 polling illustrates the degree to which Texas partisans are polarized in their views of the systemic effects of racism on policing, of police more generally, and of the protests that emerged in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

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Thumbs on the scales: Texas Data Points for the Week in Politics (August 29, 2020)

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

State Senator Pat Fallon’s Senate seat is not only still warm, it’s not even technically vacated, which made Governor Abbott’s thumb-on-the-scale calling of a snap election for his replacement the major political preoccupation inside the Austin beltway (such as it is) this week. We take a look at the district, presumed frontrunner State Rep. Drew Springer’s positioning there, and possible spoiler Shelly Luther’s potential audience among the Texas GOP. Meanwhile, in Charlotte and on several public properties in the Washington, D.C. area, Donald Trump and his political party attempted to rally fervid Trump Republicans while shoring up some key corners where they fear attrition in November, a tricky task, even if you do have the White House as a backdrop. Hurricane Laura came ashore big, though luckily appears to have inflicted less damage than anticipated. Still, some Texas areas adjacent to the major disaster areas in Western Louisiana were hit hard; we gingerly consider the possible political consequences of the disaster in Texas, along with other data points from the week in politics.

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Amidst growing support for removing Confederate monuments, resistance remains strong in corners of the Texas GOP

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

UT polls conducted in 2017 and 2020 captured a general shift away from support for leaving these Confederate monuments on public property unaltered, and a shift to majority support for moving them in 2020. Yet within this overall pattern of change suggesting more support for moving the monuments, the makings of significant conflict remain in evidence. There are important differences among different social groups that form along partisan, generational, and racial lines — and significant pockets of opposition seemingly colored by racial animus and a rejection of the otherwise growing recognition of the history and legacy of racism in the U.S. —  and in Texas. We examine these findings in detail below, with some discussion following. To summarize: Changes in Texas attitudes have been significant, but the group patterns within these changes suggest that visitors shouldn’t expect to see any empty pedestals or blank wall spaces next time they are allowed to tour the Capitol grounds. 

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The Second Reading Podcast: Texans Views on Discrimination, Race, Police, and Protests (Recorded July 14, 2020)

| By: Texas Politics Project

Bet you didn't know the Texas Politics Project had a podcast unless you were a UT student. 

For this week's Second Reading podcast,  Jim Henson and Joshua Blank continue a mutli-episode discussion of some of the results of the recently released UT/Texas Politics Project poll. Today's show, recorded the morning of Tuesday, July 14, focuses on Texans' opinions on discrimination, race, policing, and the recent protests in response to George Floyd's death and racism in the United States.

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Keywords: Discrimination, Police, Race

The Second Reading Podcast: COVID-19, Race, and Partisanship in the New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll (Recorded July 7, 2020)

| By: Texas Politics Project

Bet you didn't know the Texas Politics Project had a podcast unless you were a UT student. 

For this week's Second Reading podcast, Jim Henson and Joshua Blank start what will be a mutli-episode discussion of some of the results of the recently released UT/Texas Politics Project poll. Today's show, recorded the morning of Tuesday, July 7, focused on results related to the COVID-19 pandemic and ponders how to interpret the partisan patterns in attitudes around the pandemic. They also begin discussing some of the results of a battery of questions related to perceptions of discrimination in the U.S., and some of the partisan differences present in those attitudes.

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Texans divided by race and party on policing and protests, while overall support rises for Black Lives Matter, moving public Confederate monuments

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

We released the remaining results of the June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll today, which included a set of questions on attitudes about racial discrimination, policing, and the recent protests focused on both. As we’ve done with other question areas in the poll, we’ve gathered these results to present them with graphics and highlighted some possible points of interest.  

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Analysis: The coronavirus hits Texans of color harder. You can see it in public opinion polling

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The coronavirus disproportionately affects people of color. And judging by what voters said in the last University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, it's evident that Texans of color express greater concern about it.

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Some #Txlege Takeaways from This Week’s Release of the February 2019 UT/TT Poll

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll, which Ross Ramsey wrote about in a batch of stories released through the week, covered a range of subjects and issues with an emphasis on the current legislative session. As always, we’ll continue to mine the data and connect it with happenings at the legislature as the session kicks into a higher gear, but below are a first set of observations, hopefully more than hot takes but certainly less than the in-depth treatment we’ll give them in coming weeks.

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Texas Public Opinion Touchpoints as Senators Cornyn and Cruz Vote to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

| By: Jim Henson

No one is surprised that Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted today to clear the way for Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the United States Supreme Court, and will vote in his favor tomorrow when the Senate takes the final vote.  In the meantime, polling data from the University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll illuminates, at least in part, why Senators Cornyn and Cruz would support Kavanaugh even as temperament and forthrightness with Senate, and questions about his past became ever more problematic.  A more thorough analysis will require new, more focused data. But in the meantime, the data at hand provide context for why the Texas Senators followed the party line once the responses to the accusations against Kavanaugh intersected with the seemingly ever-escalating partisan environment. From perceptions of discrimination to the #metoo movement to attitudes toward the court, the attitudinal landscape in Texas is marked by deeply opposed, partisan frames of references on some of the fundamental questions raised by Kavanaugh hearing and his and his defenders' responses to the objections raised to his confirmation.

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