Just as the polls show Texas is turning blue, Texas Republican legislators have veered further and further to the right. They have been busy passing extremist legislation that never made it through the process before and for good reason — their constituents oppose it. This includes a ban on abortion, which 54% of voters oppose, and permit-less open-carry gun laws — 59% strongly opposed it, including law enforcement, but it passed nonetheless.
Legislators are also very out-of-step with Texas voters on police reform and use of force. A whopping 69% of Texas voters are even against qualified immunity for police officers, and 86% want a law specifically requiring other officers to intervene when they witness another officer’s unlawful use of force. Only 13% of Texans think Texas is doing too much for climate control — 43% say Texas is doing too little.
Texas voters are unhappy with all of their Republican elected officials. A recent Texas Tribune poll shows 48% of Texas voters disapprove of the job US Sen. Ted Cruz is doing — 43% approve. Only 31% approve of US Sen. John Cornyn – 43% disapprove, and 43% approve of Greg Abbott — 45% disapprove. Other state legislators did no better.
These are the real reasons the assault on Texans’ voting rights has been so harsh and flagrantly unfair. Republicans are very aggressively trying to turn the Big Lie into the Big Heist of future elections in our state. They do not just want to steal all Democratic votes — they want to nullify them through measures of which voters have no control. Federal law is the only way to get around this.
Unfortunately, the polls also show the majority of Texans pay no attention to state and local politics. Democrats have raised record amounts of money and they need to start using it for a media blitz — in Texas and elsewhere — explaining Republicans’ assault on democracy and why HR1/S1 is absolutely necessary. Pressure needs to be put on Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema from all sides.