With the regular biennial legislative session coming to a close, new polling shows Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan’s popularity in his district has taken a dive following the Legislature’s failures to address priority issues.
A poll of Republican voters in Phelan’s legislative district commissioned by the Defend Texas Liberty PAC shows that 48 percent would vote for a conservative challenger to the speaker, with only 24 percent saying they would stick with Phelan. Twenty-nine percent said they were unsure.
This is a massive shift from polling taken in January at the start of the legislative session, when 40 percent said they would support Phelan and 34 percent said they would vote for a conservative challenger. Twenty-six percent said they were unsure.
The drop in popularity comes at the conclusion of a legislative session where Phelan has antagonized conservative voters by appointing Democrats to lead powerful House committees while failing to pass legislation on a variety of key issues such as banning Chinese ownership of Texas land, universal school choice, and border security.
Phelan has also gained national notoriety following a viral video of him slurring his words on the House floor, leading to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton calling for him to resign due to “apparent debilitating intoxication.” Days later, Phelan led a movement to impeach Paxton.