Keyword: Gun Violence

Public Opinion Context for the One and Only Texas Gubernatorial Debate

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The gubernatorial debate between incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto ORourke in McAllen, Texas is likely to be the only time the two candidates will share a stage in the 2022 campaign. The University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll has been exploring Texas attitudes related to the candidates and the broader context of the election over the last year, and got into extensive detail in our most recent poll, which was conducted from August 26-September 6. To provide context for tonight’s debate, we’ve gathered several results that illustrate how Texans view each of the candidates, their comparative levels of trust on the major issues emerging in the campaign, and more. This post is built for browsing 

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Second Reading Podcast: The 2022 election in Texas through the lens of issue attitudes in the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll

| By: Texas Politics Project

In a new Second Reading Podcast,  Jim Henson and Josh Blank discuss results from the recent University of Texas/Texas Politics Poll on issues in the Texas gubernatorial election in November, including abortion, border security, the economy, gun safety and the Robb Elementary shooting, and more. 

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Political evasions taint the work of the House Committee Report on the Robb Elementary School Mass Shooting

| By: Jim Henson

The House investigative committee’s report on the Robb Elementary School mass shooting confirmed much of what had been trickling out about how the situation unfolded, particularly the failures of the law enforcement response and in the execution of school safety procedures at the school. Most media coverage of the report emphasizes the directness of the report in detailing the failures in implementation of safety practices at Robb Elementary, and the failure to follow established policy, lack of leadership, and general chaos among all law enforcement on the scene. But the report also reflects the politics of the moment in its lack of detail regarding the roles played by state agencies, particularly the heavily represented Texas Department of Public Safety – and, most glaringly, leaves the consequences of the killers’ choice of weaponry unaddressed, even as that weapon hovers over the very detailed narrative of what the law enforcement personnel were doing – and more critically, what they were not doing – in the hallway outside the rooms where nineteen children and two adults were murdered. 

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Second Reading Podcast: Ross Ramsey joins a conversation about the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll

| By: Texas Politics Project

In a new Second Reading Podcast, co-founder of the Texas Tribune Ross Ramsey joins Jim Henson and Josh Blank to discuss Texas attitudes on the 2022 election, gun violence, abortion, democracy and other results from the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Poll.

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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

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

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.

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Second Reading Podcast: The #Txlege holds public hearings on the Uvalde shootings in the wake of the RPT convention in Houston

| By: Texas Politics Project

In a new Second Reading Podcast, Jim Henson and Josh Blank discuss public hearings on the Uvalde shootings in Texas, and the implications of the platform proposals that emerge from the Republican Party of Texas's state convention last week in Houston.

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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

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

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.

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Second Reading Podcast: A conversation with the Los Angeles Times' Molly Hennessy-Fiske about her reporting from Texas

| By: Texas Politics Project

In a new Second Reading Podcast, Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Houston Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times, talks with Jim Henson about her recent reporting from Texas, including her embed with a milita group on the Texas-Mexico border and coverage of the Uvalde mass shooting and its aftermath.

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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

| By: Joshua Blank

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?

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Texas Republicans take a hard right turn on guns, but who’s behind the wheel?

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

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. 

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