Keyword: Texas Legislature

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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A round-up of results in the April 2022 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll related to the 2022 Texas election

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

The majority of the April University of Texas / Texas Politics Project poll focused on the many issues currently facing the state and the country, many of which we expect to continue being a large part of the public discussion in the lead-up to the November elections. Taking into account that the general election remians several months in the future, the items in the poll related to the election were designed to assess attitudes toward candidates in the the most prominent upcoming Texas run-offs, and eventually, in the general election. We've compiled some results to these items with a particular emphasis on the overall views and those among key groups of voters, whether in the upcoming general (e.g. independents, Hispanics, suburban voters), or in the upcoming primary run-offs (e.g. committed partisans, ideologues, and others).

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Comparing Trump-Biden Vote Shares in Old and New Texas House Districts

| By: Joshua Blank

As campaigns and observers attempt to figure out where the most competitive legislative races will be in 2022, we can assess the change in competitiveness in electoral districts after redistricting by comparing the change in top-of-the-ticket 2020 vote shares won by major party candidates with the same results calculated using the new district lines.

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Comparing Trump-Biden Vote Shares in Old and New Texas Senate Districts

| By: Joshua Blank

As campaigns and observers attempt to figure out where the most competitive legislative races will be in 2022, we can assess the change in competitiveness in electoral districts after redistricting by comparing the change in top-of-the-ticket 2020 vote shares won by major party candidates with the same results calculated using the new district lines.

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Feeding the property tax beast

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

One of the final acts of the third special session of the 87th Texas Legislature was the negotiation of SJR 2, a measure that, if approved by voters in May, would increase the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 beginning with the 2022 tax year. Property taxes have been a perennial source of griping, especially in areas of Texas experiencing rapid population growth, rapidly rising home values, and the corresponding increase in property tax bills. Of course, as policy makers have been frequently reminded during the long real estate boom in Texas, in Texas’ growth obsessed but revenue-constricted political economy, efforts to reduce property taxes enough for voters’ to actually feel the effects of legislative action are severely constrained. 

While the primary driver of that constraint is fiscal, another major constraint is public opinion. A decade of polling on property taxes illustrate that many voters notice those rising property tax bills, but are likely to be unimpressed with what ultimately amounts to legislative tinkering in efforts to validate some sort of claim that the incumbent government is addressing voters’ concerns.

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The Second Reading Podcast: How Far Right is Too Far for the Texas GOP?

Second Reading Podcast: Texas attitudes toward the Texas Legislature in the latest UT/Texas Politics Project poll

New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll finds Texans dour and deeply divided

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll finds Texans in a dour mood colored by a resurgent COVID-19 virus, an economy recovering yet roiled by its impact, and state politics driven by increasingly entrenched and in many instances extreme partisanship, which is being accentuated by the Republican monopoly on state government. Texans expressed more worry about the surging pandemic and its effects than in June, and gave Governor Abbott the lowest job approval rating of his tenure in office. A majority – 52% –  said the state is headed in the wrong direction, the worst assessment of the direction of the state since the inception of this polling project in 2008.

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Some #TxLege-focused takeaways from the new Texas Politics Project / UT Energy Institute Poll

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

While our joint venture with colleagues at the UT Energy Institute focused primarily on research questions related to Texans’ experiences during the winter storm and the infrastructure outages that followed, the results also provide rich context for the legislative wrangling over the appropriate policy response(s) to the storm and the multidimensional politics surrounding it. The data is fresh and there’s more drilling down to be done, but here are some initial impressions, with more to come after the holiday break. You can find all the results and hundreds of graphics on our latest poll page, and if you want to take a look at the questionnaire and topline results or take your own deep dive into the crosstabs (or even the data itself), it can all be found in our polling data archive.

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Depends what you mean by “integrity"

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

"Election integrity" legislation proposed by the majority party this session as well as the rhetoric used to justify their proposals illustrate that Republicans have not completely ignored their critics or the lack of evidence of voter fraud that has long accompanied their efforts. This session's rhetorical justifications and proposals tap into two central sets of attitudes among Republican voters that deflect attention away from the general lack of evidence of widespread election irregularities: the ideas that the current system makes it too easy to vote, and the lingering skepticism of election results cultivated by Donald Trump before, during, and after his presidency.

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