Snapshots of the Texas political climate from the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll as the election nears
While I packed a lot into last week’s email when we released the latest UT/Texas Politics Project Poll, I thought I’d round up a smaller set of results that reveal some telling aspects of the political environment as Election Day comes into view. We’re just a little more than a month away from the start of early voting on October 24.
Negative partisanship is alive and well among both Texas Republicans and Democrats. In short, partisans’ negative attitudes about the other party are much more intense than their positive views of their own party. These attitudes increase partisan’s resistance to being persuaded to cross over to vote for the candidate of the opposing party.
Texans’ perceptions of their personal economic conditions remain mostly negative or stagnant, even if, overall, they have gotten a little less dour.
Partisanship likely inflects these views without necessarily entirely defining them. A majority of Republicans still report being worse off economically than a year ago.
Democrats are more likely to convey stagnation rather than worsening of their economic situations, though (as with Republicans) very few report improved circumstances compared to a year ago.
Even if attitudes about the economy have become somewhat less negative, almost everyone says rising prices have impacted their household finances. Continuing news of persisting inflation and rate hikes by the Federal Reserve likely amplify voters' direct experience of higher prices.
Texas Republicans have maintained their intense focus on immigration and border security as political issues despite the increased media attention to other issues during the Spring and Summer after the Dobbs decision and the Uvalde mass shooting.
In this week’s Second Reading podcast, Josh Blank and I took a look at what the issue attitudes and priorities captured in the latest poll might tell us about the state of the election in Texas. The durability of immigration and border security in the GOP’s collective psyche, and the consequences for the Texas election, loomed large in that discussion.
Donald Trump remains a primal force in Republican politics. From the durability of Republicans' widespread approval to their embrace of the beliefs he continues to model for his followers about the 2020 election and the presidential documents he removed from the White House, Trump remains in the bloodstream of the Republican Party, and most Texas Republicans don't appear to be interested in a cure. A majority think he should run for president again in 2024.
All always, you can find more results and THOUSANDS of graphics like the ones above on our latest poll page, and a broader survey of the latest results in the blog section of the Texas Politics Project site. We're also keeping our Texas 2022 Gubernatorial Poll Tracker current – we added the Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler Poll result released earlier this week.
For those of you attending the Texas Tribune Festival this weekend, I'm moderating a panel called “Hanging in the Balance,” with four excellent journalists from states with competitive Senate, House, and (in some cases) gubernatorial races - Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, and Nevada. The panel is scheduled near the end of the festival (4:30 PM Saturday in the Captain America (!) Room at the Capital Factory at the Omni), and there is a lot of competition from other panels. But if you want to think about some other states for an hour, here's your opportunity.
Stay well and keep in touch.
Executive Director, The Texas Politics Project
College of Liberal Arts / Department of Government
The University of Texas at Austin