Primary Election 2014 Expert Guide

During Tuesday's joint primary elections, voters across the state will cast ballots for the high profile positions of governor, attorney general, railroad commissioner and others. Candidates have been addressing pressing public issues such as religious freedom, taxes and Obamacare. Experts at The University of Texas at Austin who are engaged in the state's political and social sphere offer their commentary on voter mindsets, contention between parties, Texas government and more.

Public Opinion

Jim Henson
Director, Texas Politics Project; Lecturer, Department of Government
Henson directs the Texas Politics Project and researches Texas and U.S. politics, and the political impact of the Internet. Henson also co-directs The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, the only open-access, public, statewide survey of public opinion in Texas.

Daron Shaw
Professor, Department of Government
An experienced survey research analyst and political strategist, Shaw serves on the editorial board for American Politics Research and on the national decision team for Fox News. He teaches American Government, Campaigns and Elections, Political Parties, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior, and Applied Survey Research.

Political Parties and Campaigns

Sean Theriault
Associate Professor, Department of Government
512-232-7279; 832-721-3991
Theriault researches party polarization in the U.S. Congress and the differences between elected officials' goals, ideas and attitudes and those of their constituencies. He examines the ethical considerations presented when the viewpoints of constituents and their representatives don't connect.

Bruce Buchanan
Professor, Department of Government
Buchanan specializes in presidential and American politics, American institutions, public policy and political behavior. His books include "The Presidential Experience," "The Citizen's Presidency," "Electing a President" and "Presidential Campaign Quality."

Sherri Greenberg
Director, Center for Politics and Governance
A former Texas state representative, Greenberg is an expert on the Texas state government, elections and campaign politics, with a special emphasis on public finance and government transparency.

Current Domestic and International Affairs

Jeremi Suri
Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs
Suri is an expert on U.S. politics, modern international relations, and the connection between domestic politics and foreign relations. Suri blogs about contemporary political issues at

Political Communication and Media Coverage

Paul Stekler
Chair of the Department of Radio-Television-Film
Stekler is a nationally recognized documentary filmmaker with a doctorate in government from Harvard University. He founded the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and also writes on subjects such as American politics and the depiction of politics in documentary films.

Regina Lawrence
Director, Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Professor, School of Journalism
Lawrence holds a doctorate in political science and has contributed articles to the International Journal of Press/Politics, Political Communication, Political Research Quarterly and other journals. Lawrence's current research includes media coverage of female political candidates, journalists' use of social media to cover politics, and film and politics.