The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Texas Tribune, University of Texas at Austin to Partner on Polls

Thu, October 29, 2009

The Texas Tribune, a new non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization based in Austin, will sponsor five public opinion polls that will be conducted over the next 16 months by The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Politics Project.

The collaboration between the Tribune and the university will build on the political polling that the Texas Politics Project has conducted since 2008. The polls will focus on upcoming primary and general elections as well as Texans' views on key state and national issues.

By sponsoring the research, the Tribune will ensure that its readers and all Texans have access to complete data sets from the Texas Politics Project's research team, led by Project Director James Henson and Government Professor Daron Shaw.

"The near-disappearance of independent polling in Texas has hastened the decline of public discourse on the big issues we face," said Evan Smith, the CEO and editor in chief of the Tribune. "Joining up with Jim and Daron allows us to engage Texans in a way that's consistent with the Tribune's mission."

"As the largest research university in the state, The University of Texas at Austin has a vital role to play in studying and analyzing the political dynamics in Texas," said William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. "Working with the Texas Tribune on these polls will help us better understand how Texans feel about the key candidates and issues of the day and what that says about our state."

Results of the first poll of more than 800 Texans will be released when the Tribune's destination site,, goes live next Tuesday, Nov. 3. Four other polls of comparable sample size will be conducted by February 2011. The methodology and data sets will also be available at the Texas Politics Project Web site.

"I can't think of a more appropriate partner that the Texas Tribune," said Henson, who along with Shaw will be blogging on the Tribune's site beginning next week. "Through the Texas Politics Project Web site, we've always strived to use digital media to provide resources about politics and government to the general public.  A polling partnership with the Tribune is the perfect way to work toward this goal."

"Teaming up with the Tribune provides an excellent opportunity to share our survey research results with a wider audience of the public, including those who closely watch and report on politics in Texas," said Shaw.

About the Texas Politics Project
The Texas Politics Project is affiliated with the Department of Government in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. The project supports state-mandated university instruction in the workings of Texas government and helps Texans become more thoughtful and effective participants in their government. The Project builds on Web-accessible video, audio, graphical, and textual formats to foster student and citizen interest and to provide instructors and students with a comprehensive set of tools for teaching and learning. It also sponsors a speaker series and conducts public opinion polls.

About the Texas Tribune
The Texas Tribune is a non-profit, nonpartisan media organization whose mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on the public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide interest. Based in the Texas capital, the Tribune will publish original news reporting online and host conferences and similar on-the-record, open-to-the-public events. Individual, corporate and foundation philanthropy will provide much of its operating budget; other revenue sources will include content syndication and multi-platform brand extensions.

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