Post Date: March 2021
"Election integrity" legislation proposed by the majority party this session as well as the rhetoric used to justify their proposals illustrate that Republicans have not completely ignored their critics or the lack of evidence of voter fraud that has long accompanied their efforts. This session's rhetorical justifications and proposals tap into two central sets of attitudes among Republican voters that deflect attention away from the general lack of evidence of widespread election irregularities: the ideas that the current system makes it too easy to vote, and the lingering skepticism of election results cultivated by Donald Trump before, during, and after his presidency.
It took a lethal pandemic that has killed more than 46,000 Texans to temporarily distract Texas Republicans from their persistent preoccupation with immigration and border security. But the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll shows that as yet another migrant crisis emerges on the Texas border with a Democratic President seeking to take action on U.S. immigration policy, the nativism that defined Republican politics for the last decade is again rising to the surface among the Republican base.
With the release of the February 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, the Texas Politics Project makes its fourth assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic. The time series allows reporters, researchers, elected leaders, public health officials, and the public a view of how Texans’ concerns about COVID, behaviors during the pandemic, and evaluations of the official responses have changed throughout nearly a year of polling.
Second Reading Podcast: After UT/Texas Tribune Poll shows more than 80% of Texans wearing masks, Gov. Abbott rescinds mask requirement and lifts restrictions
In this week's Second Reading Podcast, Jim Henson and Josh Blank discuss the lifting of statewide COVID restrictions by Governor Greg Abbott, and the public opinion context for his moves revealed by the just-released February 2021 UT/Texas Tribune Poll.