Post Date: October 2022
For all the upheaval in the state over the last two years – month after month of screaming and fighting over COVID measures (amidst tens of thousands of COVID-related deaths), persistent threats to democratic institutions that broke into open violence on January 6 and have simmered ever since, the power outage that killed hundreds and brought discomfort and suffering to millions in Texas, the mass killing of children at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, the overturning of Roe v Wade and the resulting deterioration of health care and autonomy for millions of Texas women – the Texas electorate as likely constituted seem poised to vote for continuity rather than change. This situation is the result of long-standing, and only slowly changing, characteristics of the Texas political system being reinforced by a strong national dynamic favoring Republicans.
As Election Day approaches, many are watching early voting patterns for indications of total turnout and signs of partisan advantages (or disadvantage). However, intepreting the 2022 early vote is tricky, and interpretation of patterns requires keeping several factors in mind. Many of the most obvious comparisons being made in efforts to find leading indicators of election outcomes are more complicated than they appear. Some of these complications arise from the data collection and reporting by the secretary of state. Others considerations arise from well established differences between mid-term and presidential election years, and from the unique circumstances of both the 2018 and 2022 elections.
Second Reading Podcast: A look at results of the October 2022 University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll
With Texans focused on the border and the economy, Abbott leads O’Rourke 54%-43% among likely voters in new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll
With in-person early voting set to begin in Texas on October 24, the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll finds Gov. Greg Abbott leading Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the gubernatorial race, 54%-43%, among Texans likely to vote in the 2022 election. While more than half of Republican voters say immigration and border security is the most important issue area informing their vote, Democratic voters’ attention is divided among a list of several issues, topped by abortion.
Texas trend data on attitudes toward the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to curb its impact (August 2022 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll update)
The October 2022 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll adds an 11th assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic to the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, adding to data collected in batteries from polls conducted in April, June, and October of 2020; February, April, June, August and October of 2021, and February and April of 2022. 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 a year of pandemic conditions in Texas.
Rarely is it made clear to the public consuming surveys what to make of “likely voter” surveys, which is why it’s so important, with the election just around the corner, for a quick explainer.
In this election cycle in Texas, suburbanites, self-described ideological moderates, Hispanics, and political independents have emerged as important to the final electoral outcome and thus, to the campaigns because of their relative size and the fact that, as we show below, each includes substantial numbers of members of both parties. One consequence of this combination of size and partisan mixture is that even if targeted messages fail to persuade voters to cross party lines, these messages still have the effect of resonating with a campaign's own voters, amplifying the overall effort to increase their turnout.