Post Date: April 2015
Public Opinion and Governor Abbott's Choices on Operation Jade Helm 15
On April 28, Governor Greg Abbott sent a widely publicized letter to the Commander of the Texas State Guard directing the force to monitor the US military training exercises to take place partially in Texas because "it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed," presumably by the training operation, dubbed Operation Jade Helm 15. The governor's hailing of the members of the US military even as he registers concern about potential threats to Texans rights and liberties seems to be waving toward two sets of attitudes among his conservative base that were evident in the most recent UT/Texas Tribune Poll.
Governor Abbott's Slow Play in the Tax Debate, by the Numbers
Feet to Fire or Not, Medicaid Expansion in Texas a Near Impossibility
Expanding an unpopular program (Medicaid) to retain money allocated through that program under the guise of another wildly unpopular program (the ACA) seems like a long-shot here in Texas, and a surprisingly bullish negotiating strategy on the part of the Federal Government given public opinion in Texas.
Five Things Worth Knowing in the Open Carry Debate
With open carry legislation still working its way through the legislative process, here’s another brief look at data on gun attitudes from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, and a consideration of the logic applied to data (or the lack thereof) on gun ownership in the current debate.
What a Tax Fight Says about Texas' Future
How Texas lawmakers will cut taxes has emerged as the defining fight of this year's legislative session, highlighting the tension between the state's political culture and its rapid economic growth.
Local Control, Local Policy and Polling
On the February 2015 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, we constructed a battery of questions with the intention of tapping into the distribution and structure of attitudes underlying what we – and likely many others – thought would be an extended debate about the scope and contours of local control in Texas. While we didn’t learn exactly what we had intended, the results seem to reveal that the rhetoric of local control is less a manifestation of a political philosophy that seeks to define the proper locus of governmental power, and more a tool used to support or oppose governmental actions depending on who’s acting and whether or not you agree with their actions.
On Ted Cruz's Courtship of Conservative Christian Voters
Ted Cruz's standing with Tea Party voters and fundamentalist Christians in Texas and the timing of the Texas primary in the 2016 contest suggest basing the early phase of his candidacy on building support among both groups of voters makes sense for Cruz. He is well regarded by both groups in his home state, suggesting that if he builds a foundation among these groups in the early primary and caucus states, he is likely to augment his national base of support by attracting their votes in Texas. Texas is scheduled to hold a March 1 primary, with its large number of delegates likely to be apportioned among competitive candidate if there are still multiple candidates in the race with no clear front runner.