Jim Henson, PhD

Jim Henson directs the Texas Politics project and teaches in the Department of Government at The University of Texas, where he also received a doctorate. He helped design public interest multimedia for the Benton Foundation in Washington, D.C., in the late 1990s and has written about politics in general-interest and academic publications. He also serves as associate director of the College of Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services unit at UT, where he has helped produce several award-winning instructional media projects. In 2008, he and Daron Shaw, a fellow UT government professor, established the first statewide, publicly available internet survey of public opinion in Texas using matched random sampling. He lives in Austin, where he also serves as a member of the City of Austin Ethics Review Commission.     

The Partisan Split on Voting Rights

February 20, 2013
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD

Overall, Texas voters — by a slight majority — believe the federal government should continue oversight of the state's changes in election laws, according to the October 2012 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. But partisans are split.

Cruz Beats Drum on Immigration

February 6, 2013
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

If Ted Cruz seems to be marching out of step with GOP leaders attempting to lower the volume on the party’s immigration rhetoric, results from the last UT/Texas Tribune poll suggest the drumbeat he's listening to is the one being played by his voters.

The GOP's Immigration Problem

January 29, 2013
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

A proposed federal immigration reform poses a test for Texas Republicans: Their leaders, compared to politicians from other states, tend to be more moderate. But those leaders stand at the front of a GOP that is hostile to some of the proposal's key points.

Lawmakers Fret About Water, but the Public Doesn't

January 18, 2013
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Joshua Blank, PhD

Water has emerged as the top infrastructure issue before the 83rd Legislature — an issue that appears to be more important to lawmakers than to most of the people they represent.

Eight Months of the U.S. Senate Race

May 25, 2012
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD

Before Tuesday's election, here's a look at the last eight months of polling in the Republican race for U.S. Senate.

The Conservative Core and the 2012 Primary Elections

March 14, 2012
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD

The February 2012 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows a riptide of very conservative opinion is exerting a strong pull on state politics.

Less Resistance to Gov. Perry than to Candidate Perry

January 26, 2012
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD

Lame duck or not, Rick Perry is still the Republican governor of a strongly Republican state. In Texas, he controls the levers of government, muzzles the news media and has no meaningful political opposition.

Perry Campaigned Against Obama Instead of White

November 1, 2010
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD

No campaign postmortem will be complete without noting the huge role played by Barack Obama in the 2010 governor's race.

Different Voter Models, Different Poll Results

October 26, 2010
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD
Daron Shaw

So how to create a likely voter model? Campaign pollsters typically use a combination of past voting history — available off the registered voter list — and current interest and engagement. Those who have voted in the past, as well as those who are jazzed about voting this year, tend to get into the likely electorate.

Six Points Separate Perry and White — or Is It More?

September 16, 2010
By: 
Jim Henson, PhD

Six points separate Rick Perry and Bill White, but that's not all there is to it: The pattern of partisan preferences evident in the latest polling suggests that the Republican Party still holds a substantial baseline advantage over the Democrats in Texas.

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