Elections 2020 | KERA News

Elections 2020

President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden.
Jonathan Ernst: Trump | Xavier Collin: Biden via REUTERS

President Donald Trump would beat former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas by 4 percentage points if the election were held today, according to a new poll from the University of Texas and the Texas Politics Project.

The Railroad Commission of Texas might be one of the most powerful government agencies you’ve never heard of. That’s because, despite the name, the commission regulates the Texas oil and gas industry.

At Victoria Park in Irving, volunteers with the group Dems Care Vote Safe pack Ziploc bags with gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer to pass out to voters before the July runoff election.
Syeda Hasan / KERA News

On an overcast Saturday morning at Victoria Park in Irving, a couple dozen volunteers sit at picnic tables, packing Ziploc bags with gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer. 

MJ Hegar has been the front-runner throughout Texas' Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate. Hegar, who first ran for office during a wave of women seeking office following the Me Too movement, won 22% of the vote in the crowded March primary.

David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Voting is complicated during a typical election season, but the coronavirus pandemic has made the situation even more confusing. From what’s on the ballot to where to vote, here’s a helpful guide on what you need to know to vote on July 14 in North Texas’ runoff elections. 

Bret Jaspers / KERA News

Years ago, when his kids were young, Texas Sen. Royce West remembers getting stopped by a cop.

Texas has open primaries, meaning you don't have to be a registered member of either party to cast a ballot in a primary runoff.
Michael Stravato / For The Texas Tribune

On July 14, Texas will hold its 2020 runoff elections to decide the final spots for Democrats and Republicans on the November general election ballot. 

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET Sunday

In his first big campaign event since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, President Trump reached back into his culture war playbook to paint an image of a left-wing extremist dystopia that will take hold if he is defeated and Democratic opponent Joe Biden is elected this November.

Ahead of the July 14 runoff election, Democrats MJ Hegar and Texas State Sen. Royce West debated in Austin Saturday evening.

Is 2020 The Year Texas Becomes A Battleground State?

May 12, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Associated Press

Texas has voted for a Republican in every presidential election since 1980. But that decades-long hold may be eroding, according to some political experts.

Donald Trump won Texas by less than 9% of the vote in 2016. And the margin was even smaller for Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, the year of the last statewide contest.

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions
Angela Piazza for The Texas Tribune

As Pete Sessions seeks a return to Congress, he has spent over $80,000 in campaign funds on legal fees, illuminating a wrinkle in campaign finance law while drawing increasing criticism from his Republican primary runoff opponent.

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally began the process of selecting a running mate on Thursday morning, releasing the names of former and current Democratic officials who will lead his search for a vice presidential candidate, who Biden has said will be a woman.

Former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Cynthia C. Hogan, a top aide to Biden in the Senate and White House, will lead the search over the coming months.

Courtesy of Izcan Ordaz

Izcan Ordaz voted for the first time in Texas’ Democratic primary on March 3, or Super Tuesday. As an 18-year-old high school senior, he was excited for this milestone in his young life.

That was just before the U.S. became an epicenter in the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, center, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., far right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington on March 15, 2020.
Associated Press

Preparations for the 2020 general election debates are proceeding “according to schedule” despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic challenger MJ Hegar.
Juan Figueroa: Cornyn/Marjorie Kamys Cotera: Hegar / The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, raised $2.7 million over the past three months, his campaign announced Wednesday morning, marking another quarter during which he easily outpaced the Democrats hoping to challenge him.

A version of this story was first posted by member station KUT in Austin.

A Texas judge said Wednesday he will clarify that voters fearful of contracting COVID-19 will be allowed to use mail-in ballots during elections in July and November.

Updated at 12:02 p.m. ET

Former President Barack Obama officially endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, on Tuesday, marking the Democratic establishment's formal consolidation around the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders officially endorsed his former rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, on Monday.

Sanders, who suspended his campaign last week, had long said he'd support whoever won the Democratic nomination, but he did not formally endorse Biden when he announced an end to his own run on Wednesday.

Sanders made the announcement as he remotely joined Biden on a livestream video.

Voter groups are scrambling to figure out how to continue registering young people during the COVID-19 pandemic, since Texas is among a minority of states that don't allow online voter registration.

The floor of the house on April 11, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Nearly the entire Harris County Democratic legislative delegation has asked the county attorney and district attorney to open a criminal investigation into the candidacy of a Texas House candidate whose existence was called into question after this year’s March election.

Mail-in ballot envelopes at the Travis County Elections division headquarters.
Charlie Pearce for The Texas Tribune

With primary election runoffs scheduled for July and the November general election on the horizon, the Texas Democratic Party has expanded its ongoing fight for more widespread mail-in balloting to federal court, fearful that a Monday U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Wisconsin presidential primary signals a need to get federal litigation in the pipeline quickly.

Not only has the coronavirus pandemic upended how candidates campaign for the foreseeable future, it has also caused the May runoff election to be pushed back seven weeks.
Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Democrats and Republicans across Texas are settling in for the new normal that is campaigning in the time of the novel coronavirus.

Not only has the pandemic upended how candidates campaign for the foreseeable future, it has also caused the May runoff election to be pushed back seven weeks, adding more uncertainty to a high-stakes election cycle in Texas.

In what have turned out to be the last presidential primary elections in the month of March because of the novel coronavirus, Joe Biden swept all three states Tuesday by big margins and appears well on his way to being the Democratic nominee.

The former vice president won Florida by almost 40 points, Illinois by more than 20 and Arizona by double-digits, too.

It was a remarkable night that adds to Biden's delegate lead that, at this point and because of how Democrats allocate their delegates, looks insurmountable.

Three states are voting Tuesday in the Democratic presidential primary: Arizona, Florida and Illinois. Ohio suspended its primary. Follow NPR's live coverage with updates on the ground, news from the candidates, analysis and results.

Angela Hsieh/NPR

Only two candidates will be onstage for Sunday's Democratic primary debate: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The CNN-Univision debate was relocated from Arizona to Washington, D.C., and will not have an in-person audience due to coronavirus concerns.

Follow live coverage of the debate, with real-time analysis from NPR reporters.

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Updated at 11:24 a.m. ET

It was another big night for Joe Biden.

The former vice president won a set of resounding victories over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, most notably in Michigan, which Sanders won four years ago.

Barring something catastrophic for Biden, the results now put him on a path to being the Democratic nominee and the candidate to take on President Trump in the fall.

In the second biggest Democratic primary night next to Super Tuesday, March 10 has six contests. Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington state are choosing Democratic presidential nominees.

Follow NPR's live coverage, including results and analysis.

Super Tuesday voters in line in Dallas County
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / For The Texas Tribune

A week out from Super Tuesday, a recount is moving forward in Dallas County.

State district Judge Emily Tobowlowsky on Tuesday approved the county’s request to redo the tally of votes cast in the March 3 primary after it discovered that an unknown number of ballots from 44 tabulating machines were missed in the initial count. 

With a shiny city bus as backdrop, Vice President Joe Biden rolled up his shirtsleeves for a 2015 speech in Detroit.

"Detroit isn't just an important city," he told the crowd at an event celebrating the arrival of 80 new city buses. "It's an iconic city."

voters at polling place
Michael Stravato / For The Texas Tribune

For the first time since 2008, more Texans voted in the Democratic presidential primary than in the Republican primary — but just barely.

With all polling places tallied Thursday, Democrats had cast 2,076,046 votes in the pitched contest to take on President Donald Trump in November. Meanwhile, Republicans cast 2,008,385 votes in the presidential contest.

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