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 polling data collected at the beginning of the session 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, some data 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 Tea Party 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.