GOP Candidates Bet on Border Security
December 12, 2013: Republican candidates in Texas have figured out how to talk about immigration without stepping on political land mines: They talk about border security instead.
Obama Weighs Heavily on Texas Democrats
December 5, 2013: There is a reason so many Texas Republicans are mentioning the Democratic president in their commercials: He's unpopular with Republicans and moderates, and some Democrats have their reservations, too.
Women Through the Looking Glass
November 21, 2013: As a group, women have neither followed the March Hare to the Tea Party nor signed up for Wendy Davis' trip to Wonderland, leaving the campaigns to ponder their place on the electoral chessboard.
Cornyn and the Cruz Effect
November 15, 2013: Nothing captures the political impact of Ted Cruz's ascension in American politics like a comparison of public sentiment toward him and fellow Sen. John Cornyn in the wake of last month's government shutdown. Cornyn's ratings in the electoral sweet spot where conservatives and Tea Party Republicans overlap have fallen at the same time as Cruz's have risen.
What Early Poll Results Tell Us
November 6, 2013: The latest UT/TT Poll showing a single-digit lead for Greg Abbott over Wendy Davis in the gubernatorial race raised some eyebrows. Adding some context to a survey taken more than a year before Election Day helps provide some clarity on the results.
In Vote, Opposition Isn't Overflowing
October 24, 2013: Political chatter about a grassroots uprising against the water funding measure on the November ballot appears to be overblown. Polling indicates a fair amount of Tea Party support for that constitutional amendment.
Deflecting Immigration Questions
October 16, 2013: Uncomfortable questions about in-state tuition might prompt candidates like Greg Abbott to reach into Rick Perry's bag of tricks for an issue that addresses immigration issues without inflaming the wrong voters.
A Trickle of Votes for a Water Fund
October 15, 2013: Texas voter turnout is low, but for constitutional amendments like the one next month, turnout is often very, very low. So how do you figure out which poll respondents deserve your attention?
Clear Demographics, Unclear Politics
October 10, 2013: Sages in both political parties say they are the natural ideological allies of the rising Hispanic population in Texas. But while the demographic trends are undeniable, the political meaning behind them is cloudy.
Will the Tea Party Press John Cornyn?
October 2, 2013: Some in the Tea Party faction of the Texas GOP are encouraging talk of a challenge to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, raising a question: Is he vulnerable to a challenge?
Education Could Test Both Parties
September 26, 2013: Education could be a tricky issue for gubernatorial candidates in 2014, with both the Democratic and Republican nominee having to navigate through unexpected cross-currents among their own constituencies.
Lies, Damn Lies and Campaign Polls
September 19, 2013: An ever-expanding niche market of political junkies - and the specialized media that feeds it - finds news in polling results and in conflicts over polling practice. The release of internal polls becomes as much about shaping public opinion as it is about measuring it.
Are Suburban Women Key to Democratic Resurgence?
September 12, 2013: While the Hispanic vote has been the focus of much of the analysis of Democrats' prospects for turning the Republican tide, in the short term, they will almost certainly need to look to suburban women - especially if Wendy Davis is at the top of the ticket.
September 5, 2013: For all the advantages that have lent the feel of an unofficial coronation to his candidacy for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott remains an undefined figure among many Texas voters, including as many as 40 percent of Republican primary voters.
How Holder May Help Abbott in 2014
August 29, 2013: 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.
How Abortion Could Shape a 2014 Abbott-Davis Contest
August 22, 2013: The return of abortion bills during the special sessions presents opportunities for both Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis to consolidate support and financial backers. But the choices they make could result in a potentially complicated general election dynamic.
The Irresistible Plot Arc of a Two-Party Texas
August 21, 2013: We look at how social media has buoyed Wendy Davis' star and added some turbulence to what must have seemed like a clear path to the governor's mansion for Greg Abbott.
Gridlock on NSA Surveillance Structured by Ambivalence
August 21, 2013: It's not surprising that the political class hasn't rallied to one side or the other on the debate over NSA surveillance; the public is sending oblique messages to its elected officials structured by ambivalence between the countervailing pulls of ideology and partisanship.
Perry's Whack at Obamacare
August 9, 2013: While most Americans do in fact have an opinion on the Affordable Care Act, to say that they understand it - at all, let alone "all too well" - runs contrary to the data currently available.
Joe Straus and the Other Republicans
August 8, 2013: Many statewide Republican candidates are running to the right to position themselves for the primaries, but the Speaker of the House enjoys a rarified position: An office with statewide reach that doesn't appear on the statewide ballot.
Patrick Ad Goes Fishing for GOP Primary Votes
August 5, 2013: Data from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll suggests that the issues Sen. Dan Patrick invokes in the latest ad in his bid for lieutenant governor serve up very inviting bait for conservative voters, the big fish in GOP primary elections.
From Smooth Sailing to Traffic Jam
August 1, 2013: The regular Texas legislative session was notable for bipartisan coalitions and harmony. The special sessions have been notable for partisan battles and stalemates. To understand what's going on, just look at the voters.
Texas Voters, Congress and Immigration
July 18, 2013: We observe that Republican voters in Texas still have immigration and border security atop their lists of most important problems facing the state, and their sway over members of the Texas delegation will be noted by political colleagues and potential opponents alike.
Voter Positions on Ethics Seem Not to Affect Rick Perry's Political Position
The Morning After for Texas Democrats
July 12, 2013: A look at electoral returns and public opinion data helps explain why Democratic exuberance in the days after the Wendy Davis filibuster should be met with caution.
Voter Positions on Ethics Seem Not to Affect Rick Perry's Political Position
July 10, 2013: Texas voters are concerned about public ethics, and about some of the issues that have attached to the governor over the last 12 years - but they're partisan about it, and that has made all the difference for Rick Perry.
Will Dewhurst be Forced to Pay for the End of Session Missteps?
July 5, 2013: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst currently enjoys the unenviable status of being the least popular of the major statewide Republican elected officials in Texas, according to an analysis of his [feature]521|approval numbers[/feature] and standing in [feature]513|election matchups[/feature].
Does the Supreme Court's Decision to Invalidate DOMA put the GOP in an Immigration-Like Position?
July 3, 2013: A brief analysis of public opinion on gay marriage in Texas puts recent comments by Sen. Ted Cruz and Agriculture Commission and Lt. Gov. hopeful Todd Staples at odds with an electorate growing increasingly comfortable with [feature]480|same-sex marriage[/feature].
Abortion Attitudes in Texas Help Explain Special Session Failure of SB 5
July 1, 2013: Despite Texas' place as a reliably conservative state, public opinion on abortion is far from monolithic. As we write here, Texans display [feature]531|attitudes supporting stricter abortion regulations[/feature] (regardless of [feature]530|question wording[/feature]), but much less of an appetite for an [feature]538|outright prohibition on the procedure[/feature]. This disconnect, between the perception of an overwhelmingly conservative Texas and the realities of public opinion, no doubt fueled the surprise legislators felt when overwhelmed by the Senate gallery last week, ultimately assisting in the defeat of SB 5 at the end of the Legislature's first special session.
Perry Looks Strong, But Not Only Option in 2014...or 2016 for Texas GOP
June 27, 2013: As Texans await Rick Perry's electoral plans, we take a look at what our most recent polling says about the political landscape he will likely face here in Texas should he choose to run, finding that though in a strong position, he may not find himself the default choice when GOP voters finally enter the primary voting booth.
Cruz Leads Perry, Rest of Field in Early Sounding of 2016 GOP Presidential Primary
The June 2013 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll Found US Senator Ted Cruz leading a field of potential challengers, including Governor Rick Perry, for the 2016 Presidential nomination. This and other results are being released the week of June 17 by The Texas Tribune. Check back here for more graphics and analysis from The Texas Politics Project staff as the week progresses.
Budget Endgames and Public Opinion
May 21, 2013: The tripartisanship evident during this week's final budget negotiations pits Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Partiers with vastly different priorities into a game of chicken. Despite the fact that the public doesn't closely follow the budget process, the broad positions of these groups in the Legislature neatly reflect the preferences of those groups in the electorate according to [feature]506|polling data collected at the beginning of the session[/feature] focusing on the public's perception of the legislative priorities.
Dueling Attitudes on Guns
May 16, 2013: In the context of the gun control debate currently taking place at both the federal and state levels, to say that the Senate was ignoring public opinion in tabling the background check measure - or that the Legislature is accurately reflecting it in expanding gun access - is to ignore the intricacies and ambivalence in public opinion on gun control.
Immigration Reform and the GOP's Self-Interest
May 8, 2013: While many GOP leaders argue that passing comprehensive immigration reform is in the GOP's best interest, [feature]510|some data[/feature] suggest that the long-term interest of party strategists and the short-term self-interest of members of Congress are not necessarily in sync.
The Calculus of Women's Health
May 3, 2013: While women's health may not have garnered the attention that it did in the 2011 session, here we discuss the connection between women's health and abortion and how the removal of Planned Parenthood from the women's health calculus may have made passing restrictive abortion legislation more difficult in 2013.
Rough Sailing for Water Policy
April 30, 2013: In the wake of last night's failed attempt to pass a comprehensive water plan - a priority of the governor, among many other political elites - Jim Henson takes a look at what public opinion can tell us about why water funding has faced so much difficulty despite the elite consensus behind the issue.
The Tea Party as a Constituency
April 19, 2013: The power and pull of the [feature]509|Tea Party[/feature] inside the national, and in this case Texas, GOP is a source of interest for many insiders and some outsiders alike. In our latest piece, we examine how the Tea Party has become an acknowledged but understood constituency within the Texas Republican Party, and as a result, less of a force in this legislative session.
Guest Worker Program the Sweet Spot for Texas GOP
April 16, 2013: As an immigration reform package gets unveiled in the Senate today, our polling data suggests that, at least here in Texas, anything even resembling amnesty is a poison pill for Republican voters.
Tea Party Identifiers Outside the Mainstream on Gun Control Proposals
April 11, 2013: As the Senate opens up debate on gun control legislation, it appears that Tea Party members in particular register extreme opposition to these new proposals, far to the right of most Americans, and even most other Texans. Might this help explain the opposition of some Tea Party standard bearers?
Texans Reluctant to Change Conceal Carry Requirements
April 9, 2013: Texans hold ideologically conservative attitudes on most gun control proposals, but literally conservative attitudes on those proposals that seek to reduce requirements for carrying a concealed weapon, a topic that we explore here.
According to Polling Data, Budget Fights Track Closely to Public Opinion
April 4, 2013: If you're really hip like us, you're probably watching the budget fight on the house floor today (either in person, online, or like me, a little of both). See what public opinion can tell us about the budget process so far and why it might get a little more contentious going forward.
No Evidence of Education Backlash Despite Cuts from Last Session
April 2, 2013: Despite all the rhetoric of the calamity that would befall legislators who supported cutting education by $5.4 billion in 2011, we find little evidence of an electorate overwhelming displeased with the Texas education system.
GOP Disapproval of Obama
March 28, 2013: We just think that this is a particularly nifty, and potentially telling, graphic of Texas GOP attitudes about the president.
Shifting Attitudes on Gay Marriage in Texas
March 26, 2013: Gay marriage attitudes in Texas are shifting with the rest of the nation, and this shift poses a potential problem for the Republicans here in Texas as independents, women, suburbanites, and the youngest age cohorts become increasingly support of same sex unions.