Friday, February 1, 2013

More Texas thoughts

I know I said that Public Policy Polling had finished its polling adventures in Texas yesterday, but they really did, now. So, now I’ll bore you with a few more takeaways from the Texas polls. The point of doing this is to provide with a sense of what might happen in Texas and other states over the next few years politically. There is value in being able to predict what will happen, even if my girlfriend feels otherwise.

Despite Hillary Clinton not publicly announcing whether or not she will run in 2016, Public Policy Polling still wants to see what she could do. Clinton remains one of the most popular politicians in the country. This is evidenced by the fact that she holds a 50/43 approval rating in Texas. I know what you’re thinking. These polls are obviously skewed. There’s no bleeping way that Clinton is that popular in Texas. But wait, there’s more. In hypothetical presidential matchups, Clinton barely squeaks by the ever-popular Chris Christie 45-43 and destroys native, albeit unpopular, son Rick Perry 50-42. Marco Rubio stands a better chance only trailing Clinton 46-45. If Clinton runs, there is potential out there that Texas could be a battleground state. This just makes everything more interesting. I want more competitive elections, so this would be amazing to watch. Now, I’m rooting for Clinton to buck the trend and run as an older candidate. Some analysts are saying that she should decide by the mid-term elections in 2014. Waiting longer could hurt her or even worse hurt the potential Democrats who are running, in case Clinton doesn’t. So, we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I want to popularize the phrase that’s the power of Hillary. If her popularity holds and Republicans don’t do much better over the next three years, we could see the most lopsided electoral college vote ever. Remember Clinton also leads in Kentucky. To be fair, Clinton is only doing so well, because she is amazingly popular with Democrats and still fairly popular among Independents.
Ted Cruz’s approval ratings are out and they are alright, 36/30. Not surprisingly, 34% of people do not have an opinion of him, yet. That 34% of people with no opinion stays relatively constant along party lines. There’s another George Bush in Texas. George P. Bush is out there. His favorability is 41/33. After a quick Google search, he is the son of Jeb. He’s also apparently a great fund-raiser. He’s raised over a $1 million in anticipation for a political run. I can only hope Jeb runs in 2016 against Clinton, so we can have a Bush/Clinton showdown. Does Al Gore have children? That way, we could have another Bush/Gore showdown after that. But maybe George P. Bush will eventually run against Chelsea Clinton. Who says we don’t have political dynasties in America?
Not surprisingly, 55% of Texans do not support gay marriage. 35% do. Which is surprising. I guess I’ve come to believe some rhetoric from the right that only a small minority believe in gay marriage. This probably stems from the fact that only 14% of Texas Republicans support gay marriage while 82% do not. I’m assuming it’s hard to get out of your comfort zone and hang out with people of a different political party, sometimes. But, you know what is surprising? While 33% of Texans say gays should be allowed to legally marry, 28% of Texans say that they should be able to form civil unions. Only 36% say they should not be allowed to legally marry or form civil unions. As Ray Lewis would say, it’s probably the trick of the devil. That question, unfortunately, is not included with the cross tab of party identification.
There has been a push in some states to push for the states to split their electoral votes based on congressional districts. It has been a move that I’ve been supportive of in the past but I’ve started to re-think that position (it will be a subject for a much longer post later). The states that have been proposing it are states that voted Democratic as a state but hold a majority of districts that are Republican, as a result of demographics, socioeconomic status, and gerrymandering. In Texas, the state is deep red but there are some districts are Democratic, too. I haven’t run the figures, but I would imagine it’s probably closely divided. 51% of Texans think that all of the electoral votes should go to whoever wins the statewide election. Only 28% of Texans think that they should be split along Congressional vote lines.
20% of Texans want to secede from the Union. This is up from 14% of those asked in September. 35% of Republicans favor seceding. So, yea. That happened. Probably more reason to hate the Dallas Cowboys, at least for my dad. 52% of Democrats consider themselves a Cowboys fan. While only 46% of Republicans say they are a fan. Once again, Independents show their sensibility, only 23% of them consider themselves to be a fan.

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