Amid divisions on Paxton and vouchers, border security remains the great Republican unifier in Texas
Within hours of the Texas Senate’s acquittal of Attorney General Ken Paxton, Gov. Greg Abbott’s statement on the verdict added one more exhibit supporting the argument that politics as usual were triumphant in the wake of the historic impeachment battle. Abbott’s statement was noticeably brief, in absolute terms and especially compared to the detailed statements issued by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick from the dais immediately after the Senate voted, and by Speaker of the House Dade Phelan in quick response. But the pithy sentence that capped Abbott’s (very) measured praise of Paxton spoke volumes with just a few words: “I look forward to continuing to work with him to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach."
Latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll finds Texas Republicans’ support for Donald Trump unwavering amidst multiple indictments
As the 2024 race for the Republican nomination begins to take shape, the August 2023 University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds Texas Republicans’ continued support for former president Donald Trump evident in several results ranging from general assessments to attitudes toward the criminal indictments against him, the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, and beliefs about the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol led by supporters of the former president.
The poll also contained questions about attitudes in major issues on the public agenda in Texas, including public education, immigration and border policy, business engagement of public policy issues, and expectations about property tax rates. It also asked about Texans’ perceptions of discrimination in the U.S., their attention to major issues recently in the news media, and their assessment of various sources of potential threats to the United States. Selected results are presented below – more detailed discussion of results will follow in the coming weeks.
A review of Texas immigration and border security attitudes as Title 42 ends and Republicans in the Texas Legislature hold the line on border security
With the flare-up of heated hostilities in the House over their version of a state border police proposal (which eventually passed in diluted form after the Speaker-endorsed HB 20 went down onto a point of order), and the renewed crisis underway at the border, we have compiled an updated set of results from the Texas Politics Project archive to illustrate patterns of public opinion on the subject in Texas – and how aggressive enforcement policies on the border align with the attitudes of Republican voters in Texas.
New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll: Most Texans look to Republican leaders to resolve differences, deliver on major priorities
The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds large majorities of Texans saying that it’s important for the legislature to improve the reliability of the state’s energy grid and water supply while reducing property taxes – even as disagreements among the state’s Republican leadership about how to accomplish some of these goals, particularly property tax reduction, but also grid reliability, continue to boil over in public.
The poll reveals much less agreement and more partisan division in opinions about what the legislature needs to accomplish, and in response to specific policy proposals, especially on social and cultural issues that continue to roil politics across the nation, including abortion, transgender rights, and education.
In the latest Second Reading Podcast, Jim Henson and Josh Blank discuss how the attitudes of different elements of the majority Republcan coalition are likely to impact the movement of legislation, or lack thereof, in hot-button areas as the legislature heats up.
Second Reading Podcast: A look at results of the October 2022 University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll
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
New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll: Abbott maintains 45%-40% lead over O’Rourke; 52% support busing migrants out of Texas
The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll finds Gov. Greg Abbott sustaining a polling lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, 45%-40%, albeit one that has narrowed as the gubernatorial campaign enters its final and most public phase. Beyond the top lines of the gubernatorial trial ballot, the poll results illuminate an election environment in which the gubernatorial contest between Abbott and O’Rourke is the most competitive race for the office Texas has seen in decades. Yet the results also reveal the advantages Abbott still enjoys among the Texas electorate, and the significant obstacles O’Rourke still faces in putting together a coalition of voters capable of overcoming the advantages, political and structural, that Abbott enjoys.
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.
Second Reading Podcast: A conversation with the Los Angeles Times' Molly Hennessy-Fiske about her reporting from Texas
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.