Politics

Public Strategies Inc.

Jack Martin: The TT Interview

The founder and chairman of Public Strategies Inc. — set to be honored today an Austin luncheon — on why the Republicans beat the Democrats so badly on Election Day, whether Texas is philosophically the same state it was 30 years ago, how things have changed for business interests dealing with the government and whether the "little guy" has a voice in our political system.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Our wall-to-wall Election Day coverage — complete results up and down the ballot and county by county, the all-hands-on-deck Trib team on the Republican tsunami, my conversation with George W. Bush's media adviser and Rick Perry's pollster about what happened on Tuesday, Stiles and Ramsey on what 194 candidates spent per vote this election cycle, Hu on how the GOP rout will affect the substance of the next legislative session, Hamilton on the Texas Democratic Trust's unhappy end, Ramshaw and Stiles profile the new arrivals at the Capitol in January, M. Smith on what's next for Chet Edwards and Ramsey and me on six matters of politics and policy we're thinking about going forward — plus Thevenot and Butrymowicz on a possible solution to the high school dropout problem: The best of our best from Nov. 1 to 5, 2010.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Trust Busted

The Texas Democratic Trust might have been the biggest single loser in Tuesday's general election, as Texas Republicans swept away most of the advances that the group financed and fought for during the last three election cycles. And the losses came as the Trust prepared to shut down its operations — its mission ended, if not accomplished.

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Graphic by Jacob Villanueva

Inside Intelligence: The Next Governor of Texas Will Be...

For the first installment of our non-scientific survey of political and policy insiders on issues of the moment, we asked two questions: "Which candidate do you think will win the race for governor?" and "Who are you voting for?" We also gave them a chance to explain — and, boy, did they.

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The Weekly TribCast: Episode 52

In our final TribCast before Election Day, the gang takes a look back at the closest races this cycle and dares to makes some predictions about what's going to happen on November 2. Full Story 
Illustration by Todd Wiseman

The Polling Center: Finding the Actual Voters

So how to create a likely voter model? Campaign pollsters typically use a combination of past voting history — available off the registered voter list — and current interest and engagement. Those who have voted in the past, as well as those who are jazzed about voting this year, tend to get into the likely electorate.

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Graphic by Adam Myers

The Polling Center: Are You Experienced?

Is the anti-career-politician, pro-outsider-businessman mood palpable in Texas? Yes. Is this preference for private-sector experience related to vote choice in the governor’s race? No.

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Perry By 10 in New UT/TT Poll

Republican Gov. Rick Perry leads his Democratic challenger, Bill White by 10 points — 50 percent to 40 percent — in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Libertarian Kathie Glass has the support of 8 percent of respondents; Deb Shafto of the Green Party gets 2 percent. In the last UT/TT poll, conducted in early September, Perry led by 6 points, 39 percent to 33 percent. In a red state in a red year, GOP incumbents in other statewide races are beating their Democratic opponents by between 13 points and 20 points, the new poll found.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Washington Weak

The battle in the 2010 governor's race is about the battleground itself: Rick Perry wants to bind himself to voters in opposition to an intrusive and profligate Washington D.C. — meddling liberal Yankees, in other words. Bill White wants to motivate voters in opposition to what he portrays as the sorry condition of the state under Perry, the self-serving "career politician." For White, Washington is Perry's bogeyman to divert attention from his failures at home. For Perry, Washington is the root of the evils the state confronts — foremost, issues he says White ignores.

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Graphic by Todd Wiseman

A Wave or a Tsunami?

A surge in Republican enthusiasm nationwide has the GOP hopeful about taking back the U.S. House and, maybe, the U.S. Senate in November. In Texas, that high tide has turned a handful of what are usually considered safe Democratic House seats into live targets. Ben Philpott of KUT and the Tribune reports. Full Story 

A Likely Story

You can ask all the right questions in a political poll and still get a wrong answer. The results are based not only on how people answer the questions but on a pollster's educated guess about who'll vote and who won't.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman/Kiet Callies

Interactive: Government Unlimited

Legislative filings increased in the Texas House and Senate by 70 percent from 1991 to 2009, records show, and the number of bills and resolutions passed by both chambers climbed at a higher rate. Resolutions alone numbered about 4,000 last session, or more than half of all legislation. Explore our interactive graphics.

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Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Cutting School

The Texas Education Agency has submitted a proposal to slash 10 percent of its budget to help close the state's coming shortfall, which could be as much as $21 billion. Among the items on the chopping block: outside-the-classroom expenditures that, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, could have a dramatic affect on student outcomes. Full Story