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UH Hobby School poll: Popular things are popular

That’t the main takeaway here.

More than two-thirds of Texans support raising some new taxes and using the state’s rainy day fund to patch budget shortfalls from the pandemic, according to a new survey by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs.

The survey, conducted online earlier this month, comes as lawmakers are back in Austin to consider a raft of new bills, many of them centered on the health crisis and other recent events, including protests over police brutality and the November election.

In addition to overwhelming support for new taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping products, respondents also heavily favor closing loopholes that allow large companies to lower their property taxes, raising the franchise tax on large businesses and legalizing casino gambling and marijuana, which would generate new tax revenue.

Just over 80 percent of respondents oppose a universal state income tax, but a majority, 62 percent, support taxing income on those earning more than $1 million a year.

[…]

In election reforms, two thirds of Texans support online voter registration and universal mail-in voting, according to the poll. The state currently does not have widespread online voter registration and limits mail-in voting to those over 65 or living with a disability. Texas is considered to have the most restrictive voting process in the country.

Another big issue this year will be redistricting, in which lawmakers redraw the state’s political boundaries for the next ten years. The process is currently controlled by Republicans, who hold majorities in both state legislative chambers. According to the poll, however, 70 percent of respondents support turning the process over to an independent commission, as is done in some other states including California.

Separately, 72 percent of respondents support criminal justice reforms spurred by the killing last summer of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The George Floyd Act, as it’s known, includes changes such as prohibiting chokeholds and limiting police immunity from civil lawsuits. While it is widely supported, fewer than half of Republican respondents favor the legislation.

And with the state’s uninsured rate ballooning further, 69 percent of respondents support expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

There are multiple polls being conducted under this umbrella, and you can find executive summaries and links to poll data here. The legislative issues poll data is here, and the media release is here, while the state budget poll data is here and the media release is here.

There are a couple of caveats to apply to this set of results. One is that this is a poll of adults, not registered voters. I’ve talked many times about the schism between what polls say are popular policies and what people actually vote for, and that is a key distinction to keep in mind. Two, likely related to item one, is that the composition of this sample is 31% Democrat, 27% Republican, 30% Independent, 8% Unsure, and 4% Other. I think we can make some guesses about where the non-voters are. Three, there are some serious partisan splits on questions like no-excuses mail voting, online voter registration, and the independent redistricting commission, with Dems vastly more in support than Republicans. Finally, some of these questions have a high “Don’t know” response to them (33% for the redistricting commission, for example), but the topline numbers being reported in the story are the recalculated percentages after the “don’t know” respondents are removed. These are some pretty big qualifiers, and you should very much keep them in mind.

That doesn’t mean this kind of poll has no value, just that it needs to be kept in perspective. As Grits notes, the poll wording on some complex issues like criminal justice reform is quite precise, so at least the people who did respond had a clear idea of what they were supporting or opposing, unlike the vaguely-worded Texas 2036 poll. And of course popular ideas can be a way to bring out less-likely voters, if one can get one’s message out in adequate fashion. Medicaid expansion and marijuana legalization both scored pretty well, with a lesser partisan split than the election-related questions. That’s good news for my suggested 2022 platform, but also a reminder that the other side gets to express an opinion and to influence the outcome. Being popular only goes so far.

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19 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Out of everything mentioned, the only two I could get behind are re-legalizing casino gambling and re-legalizing pot. Regaining freedom is always good, and frankly, I think Manny could use a few bong hits to chill out and….let the coolness get into his vertebrae. As to the rest, sin tax, tax the rich, etc., no thank you. We should be learning the lessons from Illinois, New York, California, etc. If you tax your producers enough, they will flee, and you’ll end up getting a high percentage of nothing, vs. a lower percentage of a lot.

  2. Manny says:

    Bill, you are one crazy racist, when was casino gambling legal in Texas? Or Pot?

    Maybe I just need to quit eating babies for breakfast, after all, that is what crazy people, like you, think people like I do.

    I will chill out when the Crazy Party, aka Republican Party, gets rid of all the crazies. But, that would leave only a handful of people in the GOP.

    Crazy Party Congresswoman Greene harassing a mass-shooting survivor and claiming space lasers controlled by Jews started wildfires in California. This has led to Greene, whom Trump has called a “future Republican star,” …

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    When was pot legal in Texas?

    A: “In 1919, Texas restricted the purchase of narcotics, which included marijuana. By 1923, the state prohibited the possession of narcotics, including marijuana, which the state eventually declared a “narcotic.” ”

    https://www.civilized.life/articles/the-history-of-marijuana-in-texas/

    Manny, everything was legal…..before it became illegal. Some things have been illegal for a lot longer time, like murder, of course.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    As to casino gambling, I’ll give you that was a gray area, Manny.
    Illegal? Well, um, yeah, sort of. De facto? Legal in Galveston for a long time:

    https://www.pokernews.com/news/2017/08/gambling-galveston-underground-casino-history-28793.htm

    Galveston was known nationally as a tourist destination to….gamble…..at casinos…..in Galveston.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    As to your critique of Marjorie calling out a Sandy Hook family member, let’s remember that the Sandy Hook family member came for US, for Marjorie, for the American citizens FIRST.

    I’m sorry for their loss, of course, but several of the Sandy Hook parents parleyed their own personal loss into an attack on hundreds of millions of American citizens who own guns, or who don’t, but wish to continue their right TO own guns.

    If my loved one was killed by a drunk driver, that would be a very sad thing, but if I turned my grief into anger and started trying to get alcohol, cars and trucks banned or more heavily regulated, now I’ve attacked YOU, and everyone else who drinks alcohol and or drives a car or truck who does not drive drunk.

    My own personal grief isn’t a shield if I’m out attacking the rights of other, random Americans. We all can have sympathy for families like the Sandy Hook folks, but that’s not carte blanche for them to attack random American citizens.

    For example, we all feel sorry for kids who are victims of domestic violence. It’s not right that their own parents abuse them, but if they grow up and perpetuate the cycle and start abusing THEIR kids, or YOUR kids….that’s not OK and it’s perfectly OK to push back on that.

    This is what Marjorie did to the family. She pushed back, and let them know that their tragedy didn’t give them the right to inflict tragedy on other, random Americans. I grieve for the Sandy Hook families, but fully support Marjorie pushing back on them.

  6. C.L. says:

    I dunno… from what I’ve seen and read, Marj wasn’t ‘pushing back’ on Sandy Hook parents’ desire for gun reform, she was pushing the Alex Jones claim that it was a hoax and/or staged.

    Nice try to make her the victim, tho.

  7. Ross says:

    Bill, Greene wasn’t advocating for gun rights, she claimed that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged, and has advocated for the execution of members of Congress whose politics she disagrees with. She is a horrifically disgusting human being, and your support for her doesn’t help your image at all.

  8. Manny says:

    I guess if one goes back far enough everything was legal, or at least not illegal.

    Because it was not prohibited does not mean that it was legal by law.

  9. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    Many politicians have called for, and encouraged political violence, including those on the left, to include Kamala, Maxine Waters, and….Nancy Pelosi. If calling for political violence is insurrection, and the penalty for insurrection is death, then I don’t see where Marjorie did anything but apply the rules, as promulgated by the left, TO the left.

    If Trump is guilty of insurrection and should be imprisoned or executed, then we’ve got a whole lot of people who also need to be imprisoned or executed, including our new vice president, whose admonition to the insurrectionist rioters was, that they can not, and should not stop rioting. You remember, some of those rioters laid siege to a federal courthouse in Portland? Insurrection. Punishable by death.

    Don’t blame Marjorie when she makes you live by your own rules. She’s Alinksying you, and you don’t like it. I mean, people do what they will do, amirite, y’all?

    Having said that, I’ll admit I disagree with her about the ‘Q’ nonsense. That’s a very small fringe of Trump supporters that were taken in by obvious bullshit. Whatever she may have thought about it, it should be obvious to all NOW that it was complete bullshit. There was no secret plan to take down the cheaters and coup plotters who spied on Team Trump, haranged Team Trump over proven Team Clinton Piss Dossier lies, and impeached Trump over the crimes of the Biden family.

    @Manny,

    “Because it was not prohibited does not mean that it was legal by law.”

    See, when you say stuff like this, you just reinforce that you were an affirmative action law school graduate. Everything is legal unless proscribed by law, Manny. I didn’t even have to go to law school to understand that concept, Manny.

  10. Manny says:

    Bill, you never stop with your racism, if you attended a major university you would realize that students are just numbers. The professor has no idea whether a student is male or female, black, brown, or white.

    Bill, your conclusion only serves to establish your stupidity.

    I would attempt to explain, but you do not have the mental capacity to understand. But, I will give it a try;

    If it legal it is allowed

    If it is not illegal, it is not forbidden

    I.E., It is illegal to kill a person, but it not forbidden if one fears for their life

  11. Manny says:

    Bill, you will lie about everything, while there was casino gambling in Galveston it was not legal.

    Your constant racist, homophobic, misogynists posts would be not be allowed on Twitter, Facebook, Chronicle, etc. I am not sure why it is allowed on this blog, but I don’t believe there is another blog that would allow your comments of hate to constantly be printed.

    In fact, you are not the only right-wing crazy that constantly posts lies and hate on this blog.

  12. Ross says:

    Bill, the Democrats encouraged people of color to protest the injustices they face. Your white bias precludes you from understanding that. It’s far different than Greene, who is a really awful person, calling for the execution of members of Congress. Not once have I heard Harris, Pelosi, or any of the other Democrats call for politicians to be assassinated. Greene revels in her calls for death, and thinks it makes her a strong representative. I saw a comment the other day that said she ought to be glad she’s not in school, since, after her going off on other reps, she would have had her ass kicked to a bloody pulp. Greene is a disgusting person who has no business being in Congress. She will not be able ot represent her constituents, since she will be ignored by the rest of Congress, and any legislation she presents will never get a hearing.

  13. Bill Daniels says:

    “Bill, the Democrats encouraged people of color to protest the injustices they face.”

    OK, then the equal protection clause of the Constitution should give predominantly white Republicans the same right to protest injustice that non white Dems get. If political violence is acceptable and even admirable for non whites, then it should be equally welcome when done by predominately white groups.

    Every person arrested at the Capitol protest that can’t be proven to have done anything more than trespass should be immediately freed, charges dismissed, just as the rioters at the big DNC/George Kirby protest were freed, charges dropped. To do anything different would be a violation of the equal protection clause. In fact, I’d go further and say ALL arrested for the Capitol mostly peaceful protest should have their charges dismissed, because they were targeted by law enforcement, in a way the non white Democrat rioters were not, all last year. If the situation was reversed, we’d be screaming about racism. Well, guess what…..it’s racism to go after the Capitol protestors, and turn a blind eye to the year long blm violence and rioting.

    In fact, YOU are racist for arguing for the double standard. Typical liberal view. Oh, those poor, poor black people, they just can’t help but be violent, it’s their nature, their way, and we need to understand that they don’t have the self control that we expect from whites. See how that looks to the casual observer?

  14. Ross says:

    Bill, quit changing the topic. We were talking about how evil Greene is, not the protestors in various places. This is typical of you, though when you don’t have a good response. You change the topic and try to redirect, just like a good communist.

  15. Manny says:

    Ross, Bill is a good fascist but then again he does love Putin.

  16. C.L. says:

    He feeds off your responses, dontcha get it ? One day y’all will stop getting trolled by Mr. Daniels.

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