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Austin Mayor Steve Adler had seen his star rise over the course of the pandemic, regularly appearing on CNN to discuss the local COVID-19 response and granting interviews to other national news outlets, including Politico. There was also chatter that he might be appointed to a cabinet position in the incoming Biden administration.

So when the news broke that Adler had hosted a small outdoor wedding for his daughter and then flew via private jet to a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, in early November, he may have had further to fall.

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(Austin Mayor Steve Adler/Facebook)
In a Facebook video posted on Nov. 9, Austin Mayor Steve Adler asked residents to "stay home" as the local caseload increased.

Austin is in the national—and even international—spotlight as usual, but this time for less-envious reasons.

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graph by Emma Freer

The 2020 Zandan poll found that 47% of respondents think Austin is headed in the wrong direction, which is a radical change from three years earlier

by Rich Oppel

Question No. 1 on the annual Zandan poll gets right to the heart of the issue.

Q: Thinking about Austin today, do you think things are headed in the right direction or off on the wrong track?

The answers:

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