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The Legend of Texans' Love for Hillary Clinton

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

As in so many other things in terms of gaining perspective on Hillary Clinton and Texas in the year 2016, it seems that Trump giveth and Trump taketh away. The Texans love Hillary trope is being kept on life support by the potential nomination of Donald Trump, which seems to have rekindled the faint hope among Texas Democrats and various other political observers that his brand of Republicanism might turn Texas blue, if only for the shortest of moments. We have already written that such a hope has little empirical basis in recent polling on attitudes among those in Texas who view Trump unfavorably and expect that he would be a terrible president because these attitudes co-exist with negative views of Clinton that make running away from Trump to Clinton in November highly improbable. Serious hopes for a competitive Texas hinge on some combination of increased Democratic turnout, Republican non-voting, and Republican defections to Clinton making up partisan gaps in the two party vote of over 950,000 in 2008 and more than 1.2 million votes in 2012. (And percentage-wise, a comparable gap in the 2 party vote in 2014 when Gov. Abbott defeated Wendy Davis.)

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Few Texans Shedding Tears at Bloomberg's Decision Not to Run For President

| By: Jim Henson

In the Februrary 2016 University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll, neither Democrats nor Republicans had strong positive views of Michael Bloomberg, and many voters had no opinion, suggesting little familiarity with the New York business man and former New York City Mayor who has now ruled out an independent presidential candidacy.  Nor was Bloomberg especially well-regarded among conservatives of any stripe.  Among those who identify as extremely conservative, 52 percent thought he would make a terrible president.  By comparison, only 20 percent of extremely conservative Texans expressed the same judgment about  Donald Trump -- even though both are from New York.  Speaking of that classification system, only 8 percent of the extremely conservative thought Ted Cruz would make a terrible president.https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/set/future-performance-president-donald-trump-february-2016#conservatism

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Will Trump Nomination put Texas in Play for the Democrats?

The Texas GOP goes nativist in 2016

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Renewed fears of terrorist attacks and a fiercely competitive Republican presidential nominating contest have brought to the surface a set of nativist attitudes that have not received such full-throated expression in American politics for at least several decades.

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Texas Democrats' Primary Reason for their Primary Vote

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

With voters across Texas casting their ballots today, we thought it would be useful to see what different groups of voters are prioritizing when making their ultimate decision. To do this, we asked likely primary voters in each party, "What's most important: picking the candidate best prepared to...," and gave them nine response options meant to illicit the major themes and arguments of the 2016 primary elections for both the Democrats and the Republicans. Explore the results for likely Democratic Primary voters.

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Texas Republicans' Primary Reason for their Primary Vote

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

With voters across Texas casting their ballots today, we thought it would be useful to see what different groups of voters are prioritizing when making their ultimate decision. To do this, we asked likely primary voters in each party, "What's most important: picking the candidate best prepared to...," and gave them nine response options meant to illicit the major themes and arguments of the 2016 primary elections for both the Democrats and the Republicans. Explore the results for likely Republican Primary voters.

 

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Texans' Ratings of Potential Future Presidents Portend More Conflict for GOP

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

With citizens in 13 states, including Texas, voting today in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, many are expecting the particulars of the nominating races to become a lot clearer by later this evening – or at the very least, by early tomorrow morning – to the delight and, depending on the outcome, chagrin of many in both parties. While there's no shortage of sub-narratives and important secondary questions to be poured over in the days and weeks ahead (including in this very blog), the overarching questions for each party are rather simple.

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Polling and Primary Madness: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, February 26 2016.

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

While we found the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll chock full of fascinating results on attitudes toward issues that illuminate much of the recent political discussion in the 2016 races in both Texas and the U.S., with the Texas primary coming up Tuesday it seems appropriate to look at some of the undercurrents of the results from the trial ballots in the presidential nominating contests, including Cruz's standing with extremely conservative voters as well as some slippage in his standing, the Clinton-Sanders race, Texans' views of outsiders, and more.

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Primary Candidates and the Ideology of the Beholder

| By: Joshua Blank and Jim Henson

Ideology is a tricky and multi-faceted concept with multiple definitions, a problem made more complicated by the fact that definitions and understandings of ideological labels can also change over time. Most voters aren't really ideological by many of the conventional definitions, but ideology as a label still carries import, even when devoid of complex or even clear meaning. Given this, in the February 2016 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll we wanted to assess whether Texas voters are in fact perceiving the ideological distinctions that many of the candidates are attempting to draw, and where differences in ideological perceptions manifest when they do. To do this, we asked respondents

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The Week's Argy-Bargy: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, February 19, 2016

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

With Donald Trump seemingly headed toward big wins in both the South Carolina and Nevada primaries and Texas’ proportional representation primary less than two weeks away, the magnitude of Ted Cruz’s strength in Texas, and its geographic distribution, loom as major factors on Super Tuesday. Technically, Super Tuesday actually got underway in Texas on Monday, when early voting for the primary election started. Guns were back in the news this week as another private university took advantage of the campus-carry opt-out privilege accorded private institutions even as the University of Texas at Austin begrudgingly announced its policy, which reflected the legislature’s concerted effort to force public universities to allow guns in classrooms. The legislature continued its vision of protecting Constitutional guarantees Wednesday when the Senate State Affairs Committee held a hearing on their interim charge to protect sincerely held religious beliefs from the depredations of government. At several points in that hearing, the testimony flared into the kind of vituperative opposition to gay and lesbian rights that would have pleased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died over the weekend near Marfa. The stakes of choosing Scalia’s successor on the high court couldn’t be higher, including among Republicans whose faith in the court was shaken by the court’s decisions affirming gay marriage and the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act  – decisions from which Justice Scalia dissented with characteristic color.

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