Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
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    Local Direct Democracy and Ballot Roll-off in the Age of Trump: Untangling the November 2020 Amarillo Propositions
    (2021-11-12) Dave Rausch; Mary Rausch
    In November 2020, voters in Amarillo, Texas, were asked to decide three ballot propositions in addition to casting votes for President, members of Congress, and members of the Texas Legislature. The three propositions were a $275 million bond issue, a proposal to lengthen the terms of members of the city council from two years to four years, and to change the number of city council meetings required per year. Two of the propositions failed to gain majority support while one of the propositions was approved by voters. This paper examines the relationship among the vote for President, ballot roll-off, and the failure and success of the ballot propositions. The present research is the start of an investigation that will conclude with an examination of the cast ballot records when they become available to the public.
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    To Mask or Not to Mask?: Public Opinion Factors in Mask-wearing Behavior in a Pandemic
    (2022-01) Rausch, John David; Rausch, Mary Scanlon;
    The present research seeks to understand who wears a mask in a pandemic. Two surveys of students at a regional public university in the American Southwest were administered in October 2020 and October 2021. The online survey, distributed to students in both traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms and online classes, asked about mask-wearing habits. Respondents also were asked about their ideology and political party identification as well as traditional demographic questions. Comparing two years of survey responses adds an element of change, especially since COVID regulations in Texas changed during that time. Party identification clearly is the most important factor in mask-wearing behavior in 2020. By 2021, an examination of mask-wearing behavior becomes more complex and nuanced.
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    Understanding the 2020 GOP Primary in Texas' 13th Congressional District - Includes the July 2020 Runoff Election (Revised and Updated)
    (Self, 2020-11) Rausch, John David, Jr.
    This paper expands the earlier Applied Politics Research Brief by including another variable to measure voter participation in the July 2020 runoff election. The addition of the new variable did not significantly improve the explanatory power of the model.
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    Religion and Political Participation in Oklahoma City
    (Oklahoma Political Science Association, 1994-10) Rausch, John David, Jr.
    This study investigates the rate of political participation among Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists in Oklahoma City. Using data collected by the 1991 Oklahoma City Survey (N~394), two competing hypotheses are tested. One hypothesis proposes that Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants (EFPs) strongly favor otherworldly preparations over personal involvement in political activities. This is found not to be the case. The competing hypothesis that the New Christian Right perceives a danger in the moral decay of American society and, therefore, participates more actively in politics also is found wanting. Participation in religious activities was found to be the significant indicator of political activity.
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    Understanding the 2020 GOP Primary in Texas’ 13th Congressional District – Includes the July 2020 Runoff Election
    (Self, 2020-08) Rausch, John David, Jr.
    This paper examines the 2020 Republican primary election, including runoff, in the 13th Congressional District in northern Texas and the Texas Panhandle.
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    Morality and Medical Marijuana: The 2018 Vote on State Question 788 in Oklahoma
    (2019-01) Rausch, John David Jr.
    At the June 2018 primary election, Oklahoma voters considered a citizen initiative to allow the licensed cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The initiative was successful receiving over 57 percent of the vote in a state that most observers consider to be reliably conservative. Many of the post-mortem examinations consider the role rurality in the opposition to medical marijuana. The present research analyzes the role of morality in the vote differences seen in different parts of the state. Using OLS regression, this paper examines the vote on the initiative at the county-level and considers the role of religious affiliation, political party identification, and rurality in the success of the initiative. The findings suggest that support and opposition to the state question is the result of many factors.
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    The Political Context of Emergency Services Districts in Texas
    (2018-11) Rausch, John David Jr.; Rausch, Mary Scanlon;
    Special purpose districts are the most numerous units of government in Texas. There are approximately 3,350 special districts in Texas, divided into 40 different types. Special districts exist locally and provide infrastructure and deliver specific services, like firefighting, road construction, and water treatment. While the powers of special districts vary based on type and location, they may impose property taxes and sales taxes as well as issue bonds and sue and be sued. This paper examines emergency services districts (ESDs). ESDs can provide fire protection, emergency medical services, or both. The districts are created through a grassroots effort that starts when a petition signed by at least 100 voters is presented to the County Commissioners Court in the county in which the ESD is to be created. The Commissioners Court determines the feasibility of the request and calls an election for voter approval of the district. Approximately 93 of Texas’s 254 counties have at least one ESD. The present research considers the political environment of those counties who have created ESDs compared to the counties without ESDs. The political variables are subjected to a statistical analysis. We then present case studies examining the experiences of two counties to illustrate how the political variables work together to create or defeat ESDs. This research suggests that the creation of ESDs primarily is the result of politics in the individual county.
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    Constitutionally Defining Marriage in a Non-Presidential Election Year : A Study of the Vote in Two States
    (2006-05) Rausch, John David, Jr.
    In 2004, voters in thirteen states approved amendments to their state constitutions defining marriage as involving one man and one woman. The process of states adding marriage definition amendments to their constitutions continued with voters in two states considering the issue in 2005. This paper examines the political context of the voting outcomes in those two states, Kansas and Texas. It analyzes the influence of religion on the county-level votes for the marriage definition amendments, controlling for various political, demographic, and socioeconomic variables. The analysis reveals that while religious affiliation was an important fact in the political environment, the relationship between support for marriage definition and the 2004 Republican presidential vote was more important. The analysis also exhibits evidence that counties with large African-American populations strongly supported marriage definition amendments.
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    Public Opinion and Confederate Memorials in Amarillo
    (2018-03) Rausch, John David Jr
    A white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent in August 2017. The rally directed attention to the presence of Confederate monuments in numerous American cities, including Amarillo, Texas. In an effort to understand the Amarillo public’s opinion of the Confederate statue in Elwood Park, a survey was fielded in September 2017. The survey also queried respondents about Robert E. Lee Elementary School in the Amarillo Independent School District. This poster presents the findings uncovered by the survey, including public opinion on the disposition of the Confederate monument, the possible need to change the name of the elementary school, and the public’s view of the Trump presidency. Much of the information presented here appeared in the pages of the Amarillo Globe-News (Treon, 2017). This poster presents some provocative associations between support for Confederate memorials and support of President Donald Trump. This poster presents a work in progress. In fact, one might argue that this is data in search of a theory.
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    Does turnout matter?
    (2016-09-01) Rausch, Mary Scanlon; Rausch, John David, Jr.
    This paper examines the 2015 vote on a non-binding referendum on a portion of the program of downtown redevelopment in Amarillo, Texas. Despite early polls indicating that the referendum would be easy defeated, Amarillo voters approved building a multi-purpose event center (MPEV) as part of a wave of downtown redevelopment. The analysis considers the reasons why the referendum was approved despite the vocal opposition to it. We find that voter turnout played a significant role in the referendum’s approval. We also find that a professional campaign can win an election that seems lost at the beginning.