Keyword: Voting Rights
The Deeply Polarized Public Opinion Context of Texas House Democrats’ Flight to D.C. to Obstruct GOP Voting Laws
we’ve gathered some recent polling results that illustrate (yet again) deep divisions along partisan lines related to almost all aspects of voting. We start with results from University of Texas/Texas Tribune polling conducted during the session on specific proposals, some of which were in the late, not very lamented SB 7, and which have been resurrected in the new voting bills passed out of committees in the House and Senate over the weekend. We’ve also included results that illustrate those same stark, partisan divisions in attitudes and beliefs about how elections worked in 2020, how they worked in Texas, specifically, and dispositions about what needs to be done in the realm of election laws.
"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.
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.
When it comes to legal cases in general, and legal rights in particular, it's important to note that public opinion can often act as a poor guide to a just outcome, and in many cases, may have no relevance on particular legal proceedings. With that caveat aside, public opinion is useful in determining how elected officials, including the Attorney General, might react to court decisions, and further, whether the state chooses to push ahead in the legal process in the face of adverse decisions.
Public opinion on voting rights in Texas neither paints a dour picture for gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott nor presents a clear path forward for Democrats.
It’s easy to admit that those other states need some federal oversight, but here in Texas? Get out of town.
Overall, Texas voters — by a slight majority — believe the federal government should continue oversight of the state's changes in election laws, according to the October 2012 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. But partisans are split.