With primary elections in Texas just days away, public opinion polling is inevitably seeping into the discussion of an unusually active political season. Campaigns are starting to release their internal polling in efforts to shape the news coverage and perception of races, and of course the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll will follow its more or less regular schedule and appear sometime prior to Election Day. Purveyors of public polls like the UT/Texas Tribune Poll are once again faced with the unenviable task of providing context and (unfortunately) implied predictions about what’s going to happen in nominating contests for the state’s top offices.
On the February 2015 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, we constructed a battery of questions with the intention of tapping into the distribution and structure of attitudes underlying what we – and likely many others – thought would be an extended debate about the scope and contours of local control in Texas. While we didn’t learn exactly what we had intended, the results seem to reveal that the rhetoric of local control is less a manifestation of a political philosophy that seeks to define the proper locus of governmental power, and more a tool used to support or oppose governmental actions depending on who’s acting and whether or not you agree with their actions.
A summary of public polling on the Texas Governor's race among likely voters since June 2014.
The October 2014 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found Republican candidates favored over Democratic candidates by substantial margins in several statewide general election contests, with the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Greg Abbott, leading the Democratic candidate, state Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, by a 16-point margin, 54 percent to 38 percent. Six percent of likely voters chose Libertarian candidate Kathie Glass, and Green Candidate Brandon Parmer was the choice of 2 percent.
Recent polls have painted two divergent pictures of the Greg Abbott-Wendy Davis race. Here's a rundown of what that means and what to pay attention to as November draws near.
The ongoing CBS News/NYT The Upshot/YouGov Battleground Tracker released the results of their second wave of polling in the 2014 US Senate races today (in what seems like something of a soft launch). Results from the Texas Senate race find incumbent John Cornyn still holding a 20-percentage point lead over Democrat David Alameel (51-31).