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The Brief: June 23, 2015

Texas voters agree discrimination exists, but exactly which groups experience it the most depends on whom you ask, the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found.

Supporters of LGBT asylum-seekers rally at a church in Austin.

The Big Conversation

Texas voters agree that discrimination exists against some groups, but exactly which groups experience it the most depends on whom you ask.

As the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll shows, the responses vary largely based on party and voters' ideology, giving Texas voters a "strikingly different view of the world" depending on their background.

The Tribune's Ross Ramsey has more on the poll's results on discrimination:

While 72 percent of all respondents said there is either “a lot” or “some” discrimination against Muslims in the U.S., only 49 percent of voters who identified themselves as Tea Party Republicans thought so. And 70 percent of all respondents said gays and lesbians face discrimination, but only 45 percent of Tea Party Republicans and 45 percent of Hispanics thought so.


More than half of respondents — 52 percent — said Christians face discrimination, a view shared by 68 percent of Republicans and only 30 percent of Democrats, by 60 percent of registered voters over 65 years of age and only 39 percent of voters under 30.

While 39 percent of male voters said men are discriminated against, only 18 percent of female voters agreed. The men were split 49 percent to 48 percent on whether women face discrimination; 67 percent of the women said they do.

Also out today are the poll's results on the mood of the state, which find Gov. Greg Abbott's favorability ratings at 48 percent, compared to the 29 percent of Texas voters who have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Trib Must-Reads

UT/TT Poll: The Mood of the State, by Ross Ramsey — Texans haven't changed their answers on the biggest problems facing the state and the country — or on how the state and the country stack up, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

With Education Vetoes, Abbott Nods to Tea Party, by Morgan Smith — The conservative wing of his party wasn't thrilled with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's first legislative session, objecting most notably to his "godless" pre-kindergarten plan. But Abbott seems to be mending fences by vetoing two measures the Tea Party disliked.

Perry: Removing Confederate Flag "Act of Healing," by Patrick Svitek — Former Gov. Rick Perry expressed support Monday for taking down the Confederate flag in South Carolina that has become a lightning rod of controversy since a deadly shooting at a church there.

Texas Politicians Return Money From White Supremacist, by Patrick Svitek –A number of elected officials from Texas are parting ways with campaign donations from the white supremacist leader of a group tied to the recent massacre at a church in South Carolina. Among them are U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott.

Texas Balking as Federal Climate Rules Loom, by Jim Malewitz — Come August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may require Texas to cut 200 billion pounds of carbon emissions over the next two decades. Top Republican officials still won’t confirm whether Texas will flout those rules — an option that some critics call risky.

Momentum Builds to Remove UT Statue of Confederate Leader, by Matthew Watkins —A push to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the campus of the University of Texas at Austin has gained new momentum after last week's deadly shooting in a black church in South Carolina. 


Greg Abbott looks to 2017 for ethics reform, Austin American-Statesman

Fikac: Texas Senate losing its 'conscience' with Eltife's departure, San Antonio Express-News

'No open carry' signs are likely to trigger next Texas gun debate, The Dallas Morning News

Congressional Democrats visit San Antonio, criticize Obama, San Antonio Express-News

Texas schools ponder fryers, Wichita Falls Times Record-News

High court to decide whether to take up major abortion case, The Associated Press

Texas governor Greg Abbott approves several new state symbols, designations, Houston Chronicle

Tolson: Once a Confederate state, Texas' relationship with the past is complex, Houston Chronicle

Persistent rain — and its ripple effects — might not end soon, San Antonio Express-News

Money approved for Texas earthquake study, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Nueces County DA: Office needs financial help to keep prosecutors, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Rawlings: Too early to demand U.S. seek talks with Gulf states in airline subsidy spat, The Dallas Morning News

Texas state office set to cull police shooting data won’t talk about its own shooting, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

"Removing the flag is an act of healing and unity, that allows us to find a shared purpose based on the values that unify us."

— Former Gov. Rick Perry, expressing support for efforts in South Carolina to remove a Confederate battle flag from the grounds of that state's capitol.

Today in TribTalk

Freedom of speech survives a close call in Texas, by Luke WachobFreedom of speech survived a close call in the crossfire of the duel over ethics legislation in Texas this year. At least for another two years, Texans’ right to join together and speak their mind is secure.

News From Home

•   Join us tomorrow for a discussion on health care and the 84th Legislature, the first of a three-part conversation on where the state is headed on health care. Moderated by Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith, the conversation will include State Reps. Donna Howard, D-Austin, Susan King, R-Abilene, and J.D. Sheffield, R-Gatesville, all of whom have worked in the medical field.

•    The Texas oil boom slowed during the 84th legislative session, creating implications for the state's budget. See how lawmakers responded to volatile oil prices, local drilling ordinances and other energy issues this session in the Texas Legislative Guide.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation About Houston and the 84th Legislature on June 29 at George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin

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