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The Brief: Feb. 27, 2014

Texans are much more optimistic about the direction of the state than the nation as a whole, according to the final installment of findings from the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

A sunrise marks the beginning of a new September day in Paint Creek, Texas, home of Governor Rick Perry, on September 22, 2011.

The Big Conversation

Texans are much more optimistic about the direction of the state than the nation as a whole, according to the final installment of findings from the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Forty-five percent of registered voters saw Texas as going in the right direction, as opposed to 35 percent who saw the state as on the wrong track. The right direction/wrong track split flipped when Texans were asked about the nation's prospects — 63 percent said the nation was on the wrong track, and 25 percent said it was going in the right direction.

Also of note: A quarter of the respondents said their families were better off to some degree than a year ago, but 31 percent said their families were worse off. “That’s a worrisome number, I think, if you’re a state official,” said UT pollster Daron Shaw.

The Day Ahead

•    Texas Tribune Festival On the Road goes to the University of Texas El Paso for a daylong symposium on demographic change. We will livestream the event beginning at 9:25 a.m.

•    GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is in Fort Worth and Midland, while GOP lite guv candidate Todd Staples is in Lewisville and McKinney for get-out-the-vote rallies. Early voting ends Friday.

Today in the Trib

Republicans Anticipate Primary Runoff in SD-10: "With five Republicans fighting for the open state Senate seat vacated by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, one thing is almost certain: a May runoff."

Immigration Reform Groups Urge Obama to Act Alone: "As Republican lawmakers seek to rein in the president's executive authority, proponents of immigration reform are urging the president to keep using it to push through immigration changes."

Immigration Pits Texas Ag Candidates Against Farm Lobby: "All of the major Republican candidates for Texas agriculture commissioner strongly oppose any pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants — a position that the agricultural lobby says would cripple the industry in Texas."


Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas’ Ban on Same-Sex Marriage, The New York Times

Patrick fumbles tweet on same-sex marriage, Houston Chronicle

Campbell largely outspending challengers on TV ads, San Antonio Express-News

Travis County sees spike in mail-in ballots, Austin American-Statesman

Justice Department asked to investigate racism at Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, Austin American-Statesman

Ted Cruz: Republican leaders don’t get it, Politico

Quote to Note

"A Texas state senator who’s opposed to gay marriage accidentally tweeted, 'Marriage is between a man and a man.' The senator said it was a simple mistake, like that time he joined Grindr instead of Christian Mingle."

— Late night comedian Conan O'Brien on state Sen. Dan Patrick's #twittertypo

News From Home

•    If you missed it, we relaunched our water newsletter with even more must-read features. Check out the new Trib+Water here, and while you're at it, sign up for all of our newsletter products. You won't be sorry!

•    The Texas Tribune delivers nonpartisan statewide reporting, multimedia and interactive data applications so that Texans can make better decisions not only during election times, but all times. As a nonprofit organization, we are funded by engaged Texans like yourself. Join our community of everyday insiders by becoming a member today.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    Live Post-Primary Election TribCast at the Austin Club, 3/5

•    A Conversation With Sen. Wendy Davis, 2014 Democratic Candidate for Governor, at Stateside at the Paramount, 3/6

•    A Conversation With Sen. Charles Schwertner and Reps. John Raney and Kyle Kacal at Texas A&M University in College Station, 3/27

•    A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13

•    Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21

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Explore related story topics

Politics Dan Patrick Greg Abbott Ted Cruz Wendy Davis