2018 elections | KERA News

2018 elections

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/ Bob Daemmrich: Cruz

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, leads Republican incumbent Ted Cruz by 2 percentage points among likely voters, according to an Ipsos online poll released Wednesday in conjunction with Reuters and the University of Virginia. O’Rourke has been closing the gap over the last several months, but this is the first poll that puts him ahead of Cruz.

You've probably heard about the “blue wave” that’s forecast to sweep U.S. elections this November. Some expect it to flip dozens of congressional seats from red to blue, turning control of the U.S. House over to Democrats. And there’s even a slight chance that Democrats could win enough seats to take control of the U.S. Senate.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz / Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leads his Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke by 9 percentage points among likely voters, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

Credit Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune: O'Rourke / Robin Jerstad, Texas Tribune: Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, have agreed to three debates before Election Day.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Republican lawmakers in the Texas Senate were sitting pretty last year. Now, with less than two months until Election Day, they are finding that keeping that supermajority in the Senate is no longer a sure thing.

In a troubling sign for Republicans less than two months before November's elections, Democrats' advantage on the question of which party Americans are more likely to vote for in November is ballooning, according to a new NPR/Marist poll.

Just in the past few months, elections in the U.S. have been decided by hundreds of votes.

The 2016 presidential election tilted to Donald Trump with fewer than 80,000 votes across three states, with a dramatic impact on the country. Yet, only about 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in 2016.

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Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

In his first major political speech in the U.S. since leaving office, former President Barack Obama argued that Americans must rebuke President Trump at the polls this November.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

CARROLLTON — Julie Johnson squinted at a map on her iPhone before walking up to the next house on her list.

“Are you registered to vote?” Johnson, a Democratic state House candidate, asked a Hispanic woman standing in her driveway one morning in August. The woman wasn’t, she responded, but her mother was.

“Well, we wanna make sure she votes in November,” Johnson said. “I’m running against Matt Rinaldi — he’s the guy who called ICE on all the protesters.”

Bob Daemmrich/BDP Inc.

*Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a statement from the Ted Cruz campaign.

The campaign of Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, says an "impostor" was behind a text message that surfaced Wednesday asking voters to help people who are in the country illegally cast ballots.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

In a tweet Friday, President Donald Trump announced that he’d be coming to Texas in October to participate in “a major rally” for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican incumbent facing a tougher-than-usual challenge this year against Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: Abbott/Laura Buckman: Valdez

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic candidate for governor, has agreed to debate the Republican incumbent, Greg Abbott, on Sept. 28 in Austin, ending weeks of uncertainty over whether the two would face off.

For the first time in decades, Democrats are energized about their chances to take a longtime-Republican congressional seat in Texas this fall.

Since the 1970s, the 21st Congressional District has been solidly in Republican hands. Incumbent Rep. Lamar Smith has held onto the district, which includes a large portion of Austin, for more than 30 years. But Smith is retiring at the end of this term — and with signs of a possible wave election for Democrats, Smith's exit has sparked hopes on the Democratic side.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday challenged Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera to a debate over immigration.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz

Since 2016, Texas Republicans have been spoiling for a fight over NFL players protesting during the national anthem, confident they have a winning issue on their hands — or at least one that will fire up their voters.

That fight has now arrived in the state's 2018 U.S. Senate race.

Doug Young: O'Rourke/Michael Stravato: Cruz

Just as the fall television ad wars are about to begin, a new NBC News/Marist poll of Texas registered voters shows a tight U.S. Senate race between U.S. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke is putting up a noteworthy fight against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the upcoming midterm elections, trailing Cruz by single digits in the polls. But O’Rourke winning the seat would be a long shot in Texas, which hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) from the campaign trail.

KUT’s Ben Philpott (@BenPhilpottKUT) and Alana Rocha (@viaAlana) of the Texas Tribune join Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the midterm election contests that are drawing the most attention in Texas, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for U.S. Senate against incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.

If you arrived at Beto O'Rourke's recent town hall meeting in San Antonio even 40 minutes ahead of time, you were out of luck. All 650 seats were already taken.

It was one sign that the El Paso Democratic congressman has set Texas Democrats on fire this year, as he takes on Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's re-election bid.

Texas Democrats have been wandering in the electoral wilderness for two decades — 1994 was the last time they won a statewide race — but at O'Rourke's events, they have been showing up in droves. Often, it's standing room only.

Updated at 12:30 a.m. ET

Vermont voters made history on Tuesday as Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman, won the Democratic primary for governor.

Hallquist, who will now face Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the general election, becomes the first openly transgender person to ever win a major party's nomination for governor in U.S. history. If she wins in November, she'd be the nation's first transgender governor.

Primary voters in four more states — Connecticut, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Vermont — go to the polls on Tuesday.

This year's been dominated by talk of Democratic gains, but Tuesday, Republicans will pick nominees in several places where they hope to flip House seats and even governors' mansions.

Two Republicans who failed to win the White House are hoping voters will elect them to lead their states for a third time — but one is trying to make a political comeback after almost a decade out of office.

From Texas Standard:

Political pundits, pollsters and activists have been saying for a while that the 2018 midterm elections are likely to result in some upheaval in the ranks of incumbent officeholders. Already, in special elections in other states, Democrats have run strong in reliably Republican areas, and here at home, one senator, and several members of Congress face enthusiastic opposition. But statewide officeholders – Republicans Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller – face somewhat easier paths to reelection. Still, Democrats are campaigning aggressively.

With another major election around the corner and continued threats of Russian hacking, state and local election officials in Texas are focused on making voter registration databases in the state more secure.

“Where there could potentially be vulnerabilities is in the voter registration database – which is connected to the internet,” said Sam Taylor, a spokesperson for the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

Leigh Vogel for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — Silhouetted against the window of U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s Capitol Hill office is a model Vulcan 500 series rocket, seemingly ready to blast off into the summer D.C. sky.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz / Texas Tribune

A new poll released Wednesday morning suggests a tightening race between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz / Texas Tribune

Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic nominee in Texas' U.S. Senate race, is accepting Republican incumbent Ted Cruz's proposal to debate five times over the next three months, though O'Rourke also is suggesting a few changes to the plan — including having a sixth debate in his hometown of El Paso.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz / Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has challenged Democratic opponent Beto O'Rourke to five topical debates before Election Day, about three months after O'Rourke challenged Cruz to six.

Mexico's hard swing to the left in this month's national elections also swept in some other historic firsts. Women won key positions across the country, including, for the first time ever, the mayor of Mexico City.

Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, 56, will assume arguably the second most important political post in Mexico, after capturing nearly 50 percent of the vote in the July 1 elections.

Surge Of Candidates Leaves Texas Democrats Struggling To Recruit Qualified Staffers

Jul 19, 2018
Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

The uptick in the number of Democrats running across Texas this election cycle has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.

Abbott: Sue Ogrocki; Valdez: Richard W. Rodriguez / AP

Democrat Lupe Valdez accepted an invitation Wednesday to debate Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — it's just not the same debate Abbott agreed to last week.

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