Ross Ramsey: Texas Republican lawmakers pleased most of their own voters, most of the time

Texas voters weren’t impressed by the work of the Texas Legislature this year. That might make for some interesting arguments leading up to next year’s elections, but it could also fall flat, since lawmakers drew so few truly competitive districts in the new political maps that will be used in those elections. The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found a mixed set of reactions from Texas voters: Voters approve of lawmakers’ work on Second Amendment rights by a 46 percent to 32 percent margin, but when it comes to the legislative response to gun violence, 35 percent approve and 41 percent disapprove. Approving voters were outnumbered by disapproving voters on immigration/border security, responses to COVID-19, abortion, transgender student athletes, public education, redistricting, property taxes and foster care. More voters than not approved the Legislature’s work on election and voting laws and public safety. The biggest reaction to a list of issues was in the 60 percent of voters who disapprove of lawmakers’ handling of reliability of the electric grid, after a nearly statewide loss of electricity during last February’s polar vortex. You might see all of that as fodder for next year’s elections. For challengers chasing incumbents in the party primaries, that might be the case. But new redistricting maps drawn after the 2020 census are designed to protect incumbent lawmakers in general elections, along with preserving the Republican majority in the Texas Legislature. Few legislative districts are competitive. Nearly all of the 181 contests in the November […]

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