Keyword: Gun Control
New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll: Share of Texans Saying State is on the Wrong Track Reaches New High, while majority still oppose banning abortion
A new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds 15% of Texans expressing support for a complete ban on abortion access in polling conducted primarily in the week prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement of its landmark opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. While 37% of Texas voters say that they support "trigger law" that would ban abortion in most cases in Texas in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling, no more than 36% would foreclose all access to legal abortion across a range of circumstances.
The survey also found Texans expressing overwhelmingly negative views of the economy: 53% said that their personal economic situation is worse than a year ago; 58% said the Texas economy is worse than a year ago; and 73% said the national economy is worse than it was a year ago. All three represented the highest negative assessments since the poll began tracking these attitudes. With elections for statewide offices and the Texas legislature just over four months away, 59% said the state was on the wrong track — the largest share of negative responses in the poll’s history.
John Cornyn’s effort to provide GOP with political cover on gun violence is a reminder that he is the last Bush Republican standing in Texas
With Ken Paxton's defeat of George P. Bush, Cornyn remains the last artifact of Bush era Texas Republicanism — if not a member of the dynasty by blood, he may well nevertheless be the last elected Bushie still standing.
Five Aspects of Texas Public Opinion on Mass Shootings, Guns, Gun Control, and the state’s rightward shift in the wake of the Uvalde Tragedy
In the aftermath of a tragedy as horrific as the one in Uvalde, Texas this week, many will wonder aloud whether Texas, and Texans, will have a reckoning with guns, its gun culture, and/or the recent laws that have made it increasingly easier to buy and own a gun in Texas?
The Texas House of Representatives’ passage last Friday of HB 1927, a bill that would effectively allow for the unlicensed carry of handguns in most public places in Texas, was quickly followed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s comments to the press this week that, as of now, there isn’t enough support in the Texas Senate to act on the bill. In the wake of some police organizations’ high-profile opposition to allowing unlicensed and untrained gun owners to carry weapons in public places (which didn’t persuade the House majority), Patrick’s public decision to push the pause button in part reflects a tension between two prominent themes of recent Republican election campaigns: the promise to “back the blue,” a ubiquitous refrain of campaigns up and down the ballot in 2020, and the full-throated defense of an ever-expansive view of the Second Amendment.
With the Texas House of Representatives’ passage of HB 1927, which would enable most Texans over the age of 21 to carry a handgun in public without training or a permit, Texas is in line to become by far the most populous, most urban, and so the most significant state to enact a policy that only a few years ago was seen as a fringe (or at least a longshot) conservative cause, even among the state’s long-hegemonic Republicans. While one might be tempted to embrace the views of social media conservatives that the majority has finally exerted its will over the feckless RINOs and sell-outs in the Texas Republican Party, public opinion data reveals that the opposite is playing out in the legislature on gun policy: the aggressive minority of conservatives is, for the moment, driving the agenda on guns.
Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have regularly positioned themselves with an eye on each other and another on primary voters, donors and the state’s interest group universe, each trying to occupy the more conservative position. But in their responses to the recurring mass shootings in Texas, that has changed: The two have edged into conversations about “red flag” laws and increased background checks — positions that have been off limits for Second Amendment advocates housed mostly, if not exclusively, in the Republican Party.
While one might be tempted to attribute this repositioning to a rapid shift in public attitudes toward gun safety resulting from frequent, local mass shootings, public opinion data suggests that the more likely source of Abbott’s and Patrick’s change of heart might just be, as with so many other recent changes, an increasingly competitive electoral environment in which primary elections aren’t the only elections that matter.
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.
We’ve gathered some relevant results from the dozens of items on gun rights, gun control, and gun violence that we’ve included in University of Texas / Texas Tribune Polling over the last several years, during which there have been at least 180 school shootings. They provide some context for what the governor included and left out in his proposals.