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Montinique Monroe/KUT

Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D-El Paso) says he's raised $38.1 million since July 1 for his effort to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz this November.

Last week, Cruz said he raised $12 million in the same period, which was a record for a Republican candidate.

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

Groups working to eliminate the right to abortion in Texas are rethinking their legislative strategies now that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative, has a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Were it not for the Kavanaugh confirmation spectacle, there may have been a very different fight on Capitol Hill over the last few weeks – and Texas would have been at the center of it. We're talking about President Donald Trump's promise to build a southern border wall.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters on Sunday that officials there believe dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been heard from since Tuesday, was killed while visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. 

Khashoggi has long been an outspoken advocate for democracy and freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia. He has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since last year, when he left Saudi Arabia over increased concerns for his safety.

Khashoggi joined KUT, along with his longtime friend New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, in March for a Views and Brews at The Cactus Cafe. They spoke with Rebecca McInroy about their history together working as journalists in the Middle East and the struggles they confront in the face of threats to their public voices.

Winn McName / Getty Images

The Senate is expected to vote Saturday on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and — barring a major unforeseen development — in all likelihood, he will be confirmed by the narrowest of margins.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Ninety-three percent of eligible voters in Travis County are expected to register to vote by the Oct. 9 deadline, according to the county’s voter registrar. So far, 91 percent of eligible voters have already registered.

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, 51-49. A final vote on his confirmation is expected as soon as Saturday.

Still, the fate of Kavanaugh's nomination remains unclear. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted to end debate, but said she will announce her final position on whether to confirm Kavanaugh on Friday afternoon. 

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.”

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.

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.

PBS Newshour

A day after contentious testimony, the Senate Judiciary Committee meets today to vote on the nomination of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

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.

Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was defiant and visibly angry as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon, rebutting earlier emotional testimony from the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford.

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.

Tom Williams / Getty Images

Updated at 5:47 p.m. ET

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was defiant and visibly angry as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon, rebutting earlier emotional testimony from the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — An explosive week at the U.S. Capitol is expected to climax Thursday when the Senate Judiciary Committee hears allegations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — and Kavanaugh gets the opportunity to respond.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

In the face of a sexual harassment allegation, state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, has hired two Austin attorneys and denied sending “any inappropriate texts as alleged” — “Period.” — in a new statement Wednesday from the attorneys.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in a case today challenging a Trump administration policy prohibiting young women in federal custody from getting abortions.

Attorneys say the policy, which applies to minors who enter the U.S. unaccompanied and without documentation, is unconstitutional.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The University of Texas at Austin is looking into an accusation that state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, sent sexually explicit material to a graduate student, according to the Austin American-Statesman, in a report that cited unnamed UT officials. A source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to The Texas Tribune that an investigation has been opened.

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.

KUT

The Trump administration last weekend publicly released a draft of new rules for people hoping to immigrate legally in the U.S. Overall, the changes would disproportionally affect mixed-status families with low incomes in Texas.

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.

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.

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.

Gallego: Bob Daemmrich; Flores: Campaign website

Republican Pete Flores defeated Democrat Pete Gallego on Tuesday night in the special election runoff for Senate District 19, a major upset in a Democratic-friendly seat.

With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting, Flores was leading Gallego by 6 percentage points in the race to replace convicted former state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. Flores had 53 percent of the vote and Gallego 47 percent in unofficial returns.

Gallego conceded to Flores around 9 p.m., according to both campaigns.

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.

Julia Reihs / KUT

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called Monday for "bipartisan participation" in addressing sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee of Judge Brett Kavanaugh that have thrown the prospects of his pending confirmation vote into chaos.

Reynaldo Leal for The Texas Tribune

Hundreds of migrant families who were separated at the border may have a second chance at seeking asylum in the United States after the federal government late Wednesday reached an agreement with those families’ legal representatives.

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