The Department of Government
The Department of Government
Politics in the Pews

Faculty from the University of Texas at Austin weigh in on the politics and the issues, from the economy, the environment and demographics to immigration, energy, social change and more.

McDaniel: The role of Black churches in the 2012 elections

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Eric McDaniel discusses how religious institutions become involved in politics and how they will influence black political behavior this election season.

Eric McDaniel is an associate professor of Government and an affiliate of the Department of Religious Studies and the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. McDaniel specializes in American politics. His research areas include religion and politics, Black politics, and organizational behavior. His work targets how and why Black religious institutions choose to become involved in political action and the role of religious institutions in shaping Black political behavior.

Albertson: The Use of Anxiety in the 2012 Campaign

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Assistant Professor Bethany Albertson describes research she and her colleague have conducted about the use of anxiety and negative emotions in political advertising, and discusses how advertising and rhetoric in the 2012 campaign have tried to elicit anxiety and fear for political effect.

Professor Albertson's work explores political attitudes and persuasion. Her current research relies on surveys and experiments to examine the effect of religious appeals in American politics and the relationship between emotion and cognition, with a recent focus on the role of anxiety on attitudes towards immigration.

Buchanan: Surprises in the election campaign cycle so far

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Professor Bruce Buchanan discusses what’s unusual about the Republican primaries, the power of negative advertising to change voter turnout and how the health of the national economy affects Obama’s chances at re-election with James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin.

Bruce Buchanan is a professor in the 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.”

Shaw: Independent voter myths, super PACs and more

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Professor Daron Shaw talks about the trouble with super PACs, Independent swing voters and predictions on the 2012 presidential and Senate elections.

An experienced survey research analyst and political strategist, Daron Shaw serves on the editorial board for American Politics Research. He co-authored the book “Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American Voters” and teaches classes in the College of Liberal Arts on Campaigns and Elections, Political Parties, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior and more.

Casellas: Hispanic voters affect GOP strategy

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In this video conversation, Department of Government faculty member Jason Casellas discusses the impact of Hispanic voters as a growing force on presidential election strategy.

Assistant professor Jason Casellas specializes in American politics, with specific research and teaching interests in Latino politics, legislative politics, and state and local politics.

Theriault: The rallying cry of Newt Gingrich

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Sean Theriault discusses the rise of Newt Gingrich as a viable presidential candidate for the Republican Party with James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin. Theriault, drawing on his ongoing research for his book in progress, “The Gingrich Senators,” reveals how Gingrich’s accomplishments as a political tactician during his congressional career are now being reflected in his presidential run.

Sean Theriault, associate professor, studies American political institutions, primarily U.S. Congress and party polarization. He is researching the rise of the so-called “Gingrich Senators” and their influence on the U.S. Senate.

James Henson, the interviewer in the Elections 2012 video series, is a lecturer in the Department of Government and directs the Texas Politics Project, which seeks to educate students and Texans about state government, politics and history through a dynamic website and speaker series. The Texas Politics Project is also The University of Texas at Austin’s home for the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, a statewide survey of public opinion on issues and elections in Texas directed by Henson and Daron Shaw in partnership with the non-profit Texas Tribune.

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