TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/29/12

Republican Mitt Romney remains comfortably ahead of Democrat Barack Obama in the presidential race in Texas, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.

Most Texans believe that the country is on the wrong track but that the state is headed in the right direction, according to that poll, which was conducted this month.

Economic and immigration issues remain top concerns in the state, according to the poll.

And, news flash: The poll showed that Texans aren't big fans of the state government in Austin. But if you really want to get their dander up, ask about the government in Washington.

Ask Texans if they have more confidence in scientists or in policymakers and their answers depend on the issue at hand, according to poll responses.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio insists the outnumbered Texas House Democrats have plenty of leaders. But that hasn’t stopped the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus from taking center stage.

The execution of Donnie Lee Roberts Jr. on Wednesday for the 2003 shooting death of a Polk County woman marked the 250th execution during Gov. Rick Perry’s tenure, and the 12th in 2012. The total is the largest — by far — under any recent governor in the United States.

While comments by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, on his "evolving" attitude toward certain gay rights issues have garnered plenty of negative attention from conservative groups, the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll showed the Republican lawmaker's views are consistent with changing attitudes among many Texans.

At this week’s TribLive conversation, before the decision to delay implementation of the new Women's Health Program went public, Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek talked about what the state plans to do and why.

A relatively quiet race has helped mask the stark differences between Democrat Paul Sadler and Republican Ted Cruz in the race to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Texas schools have gotten creative about water education, sometimes even giving students low-flow shower heads and other water-saving devices to install at home. But funding is a perpetual challenge.

As state lawmakers work on how to reform the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, a long-standing political battle continues to define the debate.

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