The Polling Center

Is Easy Resolution on In-State Tuition a GOP Dream?

Dream Act supporters outside of the W hotel at President Obama's fundraiser on May 10, 2011.
Dream Act supporters outside of the W hotel at President Obama's fundraiser on May 10, 2011.

As Rick Perry hedges that he could yet again seek a presidential nomination, and the issue of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants continues to arise in GOP primary races, polling results help illustrate the challenges the issue poses for candidates. 

 

Polling Center: Dewhurst's Fortunes Track Party Changes

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, l, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry at a Capitol press conference on Medicaid on April 1, 2013.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, l, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry at a Capitol press conference on Medicaid on April 1, 2013.

David Dewhurst’s predicament — abandoned first by most Republican primary voters and then by one of the bellwethers of the Texas big business establishment — reveals how the Texas GOP has changed since he first became lieutenant governor in 2003.

Polling Center: Leaving Tests Behind

Bayless Elementary teacher Holly Guillmen identifies and explains the use of the contents of the Waterwise home water conservation kit provided to students by the High Plains Underground Water District in Lubbock, Texas, Oct. 17, 2012.
Bayless Elementary teacher Holly Guillmen identifies and explains the use of the contents of the Waterwise home water conservation kit provided to students by the High Plains Underground Water District in Lubbock, Texas, Oct. 17, 2012.

The same voters who responded well to George W. Bush's education policies oppose one of its main components: the standardized tests introduced to make schools more accountable.

Polling Center: Threading the Needle on Education

Pre-K teacher Josefina Pineda teaches her students the concept of "push" by having them join hands and push back and forth in her classroom at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.
Pre-K teacher Josefina Pineda teaches her students the concept of "push" by having them join hands and push back and forth in her classroom at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.

Education policy is usually a winner for Democratic candidates, but in Texas, things are more nuanced, especially when it comes to education spending. This year's race for governor race is a great example. 

Texans Aim for Self-Defense in Gun Control Debate

The Guns Galore shop in Killeen where alleged Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez purchased the handgun used in the April 2, 2014 mass slaying.
The Guns Galore shop in Killeen where alleged Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez purchased the handgun used in the April 2, 2014 mass slaying.

To the extent that Wednesday's Fort Hood shooting prompts a renewed discussion of guns in Texas, discussion will almost certainly be dominated by talk of increasing access to guns, not curtailing it. 

Does the Tea Party Really Want to Limit Government?

Pictured are (clockwise, from top left) Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, state Sen. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Dan Branch and state Sen. Ken Paxton.
Pictured are (clockwise, from top left) Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, state Sen. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Dan Branch and state Sen. Ken Paxton.

It might be tempting to romanticize the Tea Party as something distinct from the Republican Party, but poll data suggests that Tea Party voters would support using government power to enact unquestionably conservative policies.

Strong Undercurrents Still Define Abbott-Davis Race

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

Reporting of this week’s UT/TT Poll can’t help but present a simple storyDavis is down, Abbott is up. But these latest results reflect factors that are much more deeply rooted than the low-hanging fruit making headlines and feeding campaign emails. 

Polling Center: Major Issues, Poison Pills

Rally for Immigration Reform walked up Congress Ave. towards the Texas Capitol on February 22nd, 2013
Rally for Immigration Reform walked up Congress Ave. towards the Texas Capitol on February 22nd, 2013

Democratic and Republican voters favor many provisions of proposed immigration law reforms and of the Affordable Care Act. But the rhetorical emphasis on unpopular provisions of those policies has made them nonstarters with those same voters.