2018 Elections

Ivan Pierre Aguirre: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz

WASHINGTON — A new poll released Thursday morning showed Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has stabilized his lead over his Democrat challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso.

Fifty-four percent of Texans backed Cruz, while 45 percent backed O'Rourke in the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We're collecting all of KUT's coverage of the midterm elections – how to register, how to get an absentee ballot, who the candidates are, and everything else – all in one place. 

If you don't see something you want to know about here, let us know! Ask about it for our Texas Decides project. We'll add more coverage to this page as we get closer to early voting, which starts on Oct. 22, and Election Day on Nov. 6.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Here at KUT, we’re trying to make civic participation easier. Early voting begins Oct. 22 in Texas — and we want to make sure you’re ready.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Environmentalists in Austin worry about methane emissions from Texas oilfields, plastic pollution clogging up creeks and rivers or nuclear waste being shipped through the state. But one thing they rarely worry about is each other – at least until recently, when an initiative called Proposition J landed on the ballot.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

With the registration deadline only three days away, Texans looking for voter-registration forms on the Secretary of State's website this weekend got an error message for nearly a day. Applications for mail-in ballots were also inaccessible. Information about who's running for office this November was also knocked offline.

Service was restored by late Saturday.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — Former President Barack Obama has endorsed 11 Texas Democrats leading up to next month’s midterm elections. But none go by the popular four-letter moniker “Beto.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Six candidates are running for the Austin City Council District 3 seat. The district includes parts of East and Southeast Austin, much of it east of I-35. A majority-minority area, the population of District 3 is about 62 percent Latino. It’s also a district made up mostly of renters, with a median household income of $29,430. The city as a whole has a median household income of $52,460.

Emree Weaver for KUT

There are five Austin City Council seats up for grabs in the November election, along with a race for mayor. To help get you ready to vote, KUT will publish overviews of each race. We kick off with District 1.

This race is wide open because City Councilwoman Ora Houston decided not to seek re-election. Six candidates have jumped at the chance to replace her.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Congressman Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso Democrat hoping to oust Sen. Ted Cruz in November, is not shying away from talking about race. And black voters are noticing.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last month, 97 percent of black voters surveyed said they favor O’Rourke.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic nominee for governor, swung away at Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in their first and only debate Friday evening, while Abbott largely ignored her and defended his first term.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

You might have seen signs around town telling you how to vote on certain ballot propositions in November. It’s a big list. There are 11 of them — Proposition A through K.

There's plenty of heat around the big statewide and congressional races this fall, but maybe the biggest impact on your day-to-day life comes from local government. There are five Austin City Council races — plus the mayor — on the ballot in November.

To help you make a more informed choice, KUT, the Austin Monitor, Glasshouse Policy and A Functional Democracy are hosting a series of forums with council candidates in October.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Laura Buckman / The Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his closest challenger, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, take the stage in Austin tonight for the first and only debate between the candidates.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A couple weeks back, KUT and other NPR member stations in Texas started asking for your questions about the 2018 elections. Some people wanted to know where different candidates stand on various topics. Others just asked about the nuts and bolts of how to vote in Texas.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We got a question for our TX Decides project from Victoria, who asked:

I am registered in Bastrop County but am working in D.C. at the moment, is there a way to get a ballot?

The short answer is: Yes. You can vote by mail.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

NPR member stations in Texas want to know what you want to know about the 2018 elections. What topics do you want to hear more from the candidates about? Is education at the top of your list? How about roads, or taxes, or the environment?

Let us know and we'll do our best to give you as much information as possible before you head to the polls.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Oct. 9 is the last day to register to vote in the November elections in Texas. It’s also the last day to update your address if you’ve moved since the last time you voted.

KUT, the Austin Monitor, Glasshouse Policy and A Functional Democracy are hosting a series of forums for candidates running for Austin City Council this fall.

Join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the North Door at 501 Brushy St. for a kick-off event.

It was more duel than debate Friday night in Dallas as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke went after each other from the start. Snappy and heavy on snark, Cruz and O’Rourke held nothing back in the first of three debates.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT (O'Rourke); Montinique Monroe for KUT (Cruz)

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-El Paso) kick off the first of three debates tonight in Dallas. Tonight's debate at the SMU campus, like the one in Houston on Sept. 30, will focus squarely on domestic policy. Their final debate on Oct. 16 in San Antonio will split time between domestic and foreign policy.

The race is expected to be the closest we've had in Texas since the 2002 race for lieutenant governor. So both sides head into the three debates hoping to change just enough minds to eke out a victory on Nov. 6.

The Texas Senate race wasn't supposed to be competitive this year. But thanks to an imaginative campaign, Beto O'Rourke has energized Democrats, drawing huge crowds and raising tens of millions of dollars in what was initially seen as a long-shot bid to defeat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

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.

Montinique Monroe for KUT; Julia Reihs/KUT

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/Robin Jerstad: Cruz

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

Announced Friday by both campaigns, the schedule calls for debates Sept. 21 in Dallas, Sept. 30 in Houston and Oct. 16 in San Antonio. Each event will be an hour long and vary in topic and format:

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.

Bob Daemmrich / BDP Inc.

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.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas Democrats see an opening during this year’s midterm election. They are hoping to pick up seats in Congress that they haven’t won in a long time, as well as a slew of seats down the ballot. To do that, though, the party will have to get Latinos in Texas – who don’t often go to the polls – to vote in higher numbers.

Montinique Monroe for KUT / Julia Reihs, KUT

The traditional start of the election season is Labor Day – but it feels like everyone has been campaigning for about four years now. Part of that could be the current state of politics. The large crop of 2016 presidential hopefuls kicked off their campaigns way back in 2014 – if not earlier. The race for 2018 began about 20 seconds after Donald Trump was declared the next president. And let's be honest, the race for 2020 has already begun.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas Republicans are facing what could be one of the most serious challenges from Democrats in recent history – and Hispanic voters could be part of that challenge.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Supreme Court has denied petitions from two Austin residents asking that the city rewrite a pair of November ballot measures.

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