Post Date: October 2023
New UT/ Texas Politics Project Poll: Trump still dominates presidential race in Texas, no movement on vouchers, and signs of a Paxton recovery among Republicans
With one year to go before the 2024 presidential election, the latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds former president Donald Trump dominating a crowded Republican primary field and holding a comfortable lead in a hypothetical re-match with President Joe Biden, who faces no serious competition in the Democratic primary so far. The poll also asked Texans about educational savings accounts and other public education issues at the center of the third special session of the 88th Texas Legislature currently underway in Austin. The poll found a modest majority, 51%, supportive of “establishing a voucher, educational savings account, or other ‘school choice’ program in Texas,” with slightly less than a third, 30%, opposed, and 19% holding no opinion. The latest University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll was conducted October 5-17, 2023, among 1200 self-declared registered voters in Texas. The margin error for topline results is +/- 2.83% (3.3% adjusted for weighting).
Second Reading Podcast: Early soundings of the 2024 election season in the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll
Jim Henson, Josh Blank, and Daron Shaw discuss results related to the 2024 election in the just-released UT/Texas Politics Project Poll.
Job approval trends for Texas statewide incumbents and other trend data from the Texas Politics Project poll data archive (October 2023 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll update)
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.
Jim Henson and Josh Blank discuss how intraparty fights among Republicans in the US Congress and the Texas Legislature reveals the multiple axes of conflict in the GOP, and the shifting ideological terrain of the party both nationally and in Texas.
Jim Henson and Joshua Blank discuss how Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's special session agenda taps into the GOP primary electorate, and look at the latest hostilities between Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Dade Phelan.
Special Session agenda inflames intraparty GOP voucher conflict, while tapping into broad Republican consensus on border, immigration, COVID, and vaccines
Gov. Greg Abbott’s much-anticipated agenda for the third Special session of the 88th Legislature delivered the expected calls for action on vouchers and items related to immigration and border security, with the addition of another nod to the concerns of the right wing of his party, legislation prohibiting COVID-19 vaccines by private employers.
Confronting the voucher issue yet again – unavoidable as a result of campaign promises, elite politics with the Texas GOP (especially involving the governor and lieutenant governor), and the deep pockets of a small but persistent group of large donors – promises to stoke the already-raging internecine conflicts among Republicans in the legislature. The remaining items – focused on immigration and border security issues and the retro-feeling COVID vaccine item – will intentionally remind Republicans that there are plenty of things that unite the mostly extreme-right activists who are most fired up about vouchers (and the injustices meted out to Attorney General Paxton) and the less activated Republican voters (and elected officials, for that matter) who are less attentive to, let alone motivated by, either vouchers or the Paxton imbroglio.
As another special session begins, GOP primary politics, not popular demand, keep vouchers on the agenda
After the repeated failures of the Republican legislature to pass voucher legislation throughout their two decades of total control of the state’s political process, the GOP leadership’s determination to focus efforts yet again on creating a voucher bill invites attention to one of the many challenges still facing the legislature in its latest attempt: it’s lack of importance to most voters.
Second Reading Podcast: Republican politics in the Texas Legislature as the third special session nears
Jim Henson and Joshua Blank look at the internecine politics of the Texas GOP and the calculations of the Big Three with the legislature set to begin the long-awaited "voucher session" – and consider the GOP meltdown in the US House as context for the looming session, set to begin Monday October 9.