Jim Henson

New University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds little confidence in the legislature’s efforts to address key issues

June 22, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

After a regular legislative session that found lawmakers attempting to use a historic budget surplus to address major fiscal issues and infrastructure needs while also pushing some cultural hot buttons, the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll found Texas voters with low expectations of the impact of their actions, and dim views of the legislature’s responsiveness.

When asked in general terms about their confidence in legislative efforts to address areas deemed critical by voters in Texas Politics Project polling conducted earlier in the session, most Texas voters lacked confidence in lawmakers’ efforts. Fewer than one in five voters was willing to say they were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ confident that the legislature had increased the reliability of the electric grid or the water supply, improved the safety of Texas’ public schools, or improved security along the Texas-Mexico border.

New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll: Half of Texas voters say the impeachment of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton was justified

June 20, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

As the Texas Senate begins the historically unprecedented process of trying the suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton on 31 articles of impeachment, a majority of Texas’ registered voters think the House was justified in impeaching the three-term incumbent, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll.

Asked whether they thought the Texas House of Representatives was justified in impeaching Attorney General Ken Paxton, 50% said it was justified, 17% said it was not, and a third (33%) had no opinion.

Texans’ views of Ken Paxton in UT/Texas Politics Project polling as the Texas Attorney General faces impeachment

May 26, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

With the Texas House of Representatives poised to consider 20 articles of impeachment against Attorney General Ken Paxton, we’ve pulled several looks at voters’ views of the Attorney General from the Texas Politics Project archives.

Why Transgender Politics are So Irresistible to Republicans in the 88th Texas Legislature

May 18, 2023
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

Any issue that finds partisans on one side in overwhelming agreement over the fundamentals of an issue pitted against a divided opposition is one that provides major political advantages for the unified side. Legislating the lives of transgender people is one of those issues. 

A review of Texas immigration and border security attitudes as Title 42 ends and Republicans in the Texas Legislature hold the line on border security

May 11, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

With the flare-up of heated hostilities in the House over their version of a state border police proposal (which eventually passed in diluted form after the Speaker-endorsed HB 20 went down onto a point of order), and the renewed crisis underway at the border, we have compiled an updated set of results from the Texas Politics Project archive to illustrate patterns of public opinion on the subject in Texas – and how aggressive enforcement policies on the border align with the attitudes of Republican voters in Texas. 

The needs of a growing Texas collide with reelection pressures as the Republican-led Legislature struggles to reach consensus

May 9, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll found a striking degree of aggregate, bi-partisan support for the more fundamental policy proposals that are currently mired in various parts of the legislative process. Texas voters expressed their strongest and most widespread support for legislative action in response to problems that have affected many Texans’ daily lives in recent years: reliable power in their homes and businesses, access to clean water, the safety of students and teachers in Texas schools, and relief from property taxes driven up by steep, consistent growth in real estate values.

New UT/Texas Politics Project Poll: Most Texans look to Republican leaders to resolve differences, deliver on major priorities

May 3, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds large majorities of Texans saying that it’s important for the legislature to improve the reliability of the state’s energy grid and water supply while reducing property taxes – even as disagreements among the state’s Republican leadership about how to accomplish some of these goals, particularly property tax reduction, but also grid reliability, continue to boil over in public.

The poll reveals much less agreement and more partisan division in opinions about what the legislature needs to accomplish, and in response to specific policy proposals, especially on social and cultural issues that continue to roil politics across the nation, including abortion, transgender rights, and education.

Job approval trends for Texas statewide incumbents and other trend data from the Texas Politics Project poll data archive (April 2023 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll update)

May 3, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson

This page compiles graphics for trends in job approval ratings of the current statewide incumbents (Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senators) that Texans rate on every poll . Bookmark the page for easy reference – we’ve also added similar graphics for trends in Texans’ assessment of conditions in Texas and the U.S., and some archival results for comparison with leaders no longer in office.

Donald Trump Rallies in Waco as Indictments and 2024 Primary Challenges Loom

March 23, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Josh Blank

In advance of Trump’s planned campaign kick-off in Waco, Texas, we have gathered some polling data to provide context for how Texans – most importantly Texas Republicans and independents – view the former president before his high profile visit. Overall, Trump appears to have retained the high regard of Texas Republicans, albeit amidst signs of some dampening enthusiasm. But large swathes of GOP voters remain not just positively inclined toward him; they also continue to believe the mythology surrounding his loss in 2020, and remain focused on the grievances that fed his takeover of the Republican Party in the 2016 election.

Recoding School Choice as a Parental Right

March 14, 2023
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Results from the February 2023 University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll provides evidence of how the pandemic, the wide propagation of the trope of “woke education,” and the patterns in the state’s rapid population growth have converged to sharpen the terms of long-fought battles, while also shifting the terrain upon which these battles are being fought.  The current surge in rhetoric and political action based on notions like “parental rights” and the prevalence of “woke education” have provided potential means for overcoming the resistance of a sizable faction of Republican legislators and the demonstrated ambivalence of voters toward state support for private education that “school choice” advocates have historically been unable to overcome in the legislature. 

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