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.
As Rick Perry hedges that he could yet again seek a presidential nomination, and the issue of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants continues to arise in GOP primary races, polling results help illustrate the challenges the issue poses for candidates.
David Dewhurst’s predicament — abandoned first by most Republican primary voters and then by one of the bellwethers of the Texas big business establishment — reveals how the Texas GOP has changed since he first became lieutenant governor in 2003.
Education policy is usually a winner for Democratic candidates, but in Texas, things are more nuanced, especially when it comes to education spending. This year's race for governor race is a great example.
Only 28 percent of Texans say they are opposed to legalization of marijuana for any reason. Most would OK it for medicinal use, and nearly half would approve it for recreational use. But the state's most conservative voters are not likely to go along.
It might be tempting to romanticize the Tea Party as something distinct from the Republican Party, but poll data suggests that Tea Party voters would support using government power to enact unquestionably conservative policies.