Ben Philpott

Senior Editor

Ben Philpott is the Sr. Editor for KUT. He’s also co-host of The Ticket 2016, a podcast produced by KUT and the Texas Tribune covering the presidential election. Ben has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and has been named Radio Journalist of the Year by the Houston Press club four times.

Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Ways to Connect

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Senator John Cornyn endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in May.  Trump made a swing through Dallas last night – he’s in the Houston area today, but this week Cornyn told reporters in Washington D.C. he’s done talking about his party's nominee until after the November election and he’s not attending Trump’s campaign events in Texas this week.


Michael Stravato, via Texas Tribune

This week on The Ticket 2016: In the wake of another horrific mass shooting, the Presidential candidates were quick to explain how their administration would help reduce this kind of crime.

To help explain what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are saying, KUT's Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune's Jay Root put two recent campaign speeches under the microscope on another episode of Stump Interrupted.


Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Donald Trump has consolidated much of the Republican party behind him since he went from frontrunner to expected nominee. But there are still plenty of Republicans here in Texas who aren't ready to support him.


Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week on The Ticket 2016: The different faces of the Never Trump movement. While much of the party leadership has gotten behind Donald Trump, there are still plenty of conservative voters who aren't sure what they'll do in November. KUT's Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune's Jay Root will introduce you to several different representatives of different parts of the GOP to explain their hesitation.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week on The Ticket 2016: Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee, while on the Democratic side, the battle goes on. KUT's Ben Philpott talks with CNN commentator Paul Begala about what's left in that race and what's ahead for the Democratic nominee.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: There's a flash flood warning in effect for southwest Austin and western Travis County until 6:30 p.m.

Screen shot courtesy of CNN

This week on The Ticket 2016: It's been just over a week since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican Presidential nomination race. He popped up over the weekend at the Kentucky Derby and headed back to work in the U.S. Senate. But what about his campaign staff? What's next for them? Ben Philpott talks with Republican consultant Deirdre Delisi about life after the party ends.

CruzCarly.com

When Sen. Ted Cruz announced Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential candidate last week, the campaign was ready with signs, stickers and a fancy website to announce the new team. While most campaign websites use the last name of both candidates (ObamaBiden.com, RomneyRyan.com), this one was CruzCarly.com. Why not CruzFiorina.com?

Matt Mackowiak, founder of Potomac Strategy Group in Washington D.C., has an idea.

"I guess they were worried that people couldn't correctly spell Fiorina," Mackowiak said. "Honestly, because people often mispronounce her last name, even though it's not that difficult. So I guess they made a decision that that would be easier."

Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root is out of town again, but there's still plenty to talk about. First, KUT's Ben Philpott will go over this week's Trump Sweep in the Northeast with Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. Then, he'll dive into the waters of political candidate cybersquatting.

Eric Kayne for the Texas Tribune

Donald Trump had such a big win in Pennsylvania Tuesday night that several media outlets announced him the winner just moments after the polls closed. But, unlike other states, that big win didn’t keep Texas Senator Ted Cruz from claiming a victory – of sorts.


REUTERS/Mike Stone

This week on The Ticket 2016: After two weeks of campaigning across New York, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton came away with big wins. But as we learned in previous weeks, big wins don't mean as much as you might think. KUT's Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune's Jay Root will try to explain what the New York primary means with the help of FiveThirtyEight.com Senior Political Writer Harry Enten.

This week on The Ticket: KUT’s Ben Philpott dives back into the Donald Trump Presidential campaign. First he’ll talk with Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey about whether or not journalists should be blamed for Trump’s rise to GOP frontrunner.

Then he’ll chat with This American Life producer Zoe Chase about an historical political strategy being invoked by some conservatives to keep Trump from getting elected President: The Hamilton Rule.

Screenshot via YouTube

This week on The Ticket 2016: While we're waiting for the parties to figure out who will be the nominees, the Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott will talk about the ads and media strategy that have helped shape the campaigns so far. 

Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott will try to explain what could happen at this summer's Republican National Convention if none of the candidates have enough delegates to become the nominee. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for KUT News

This week on The Ticket: KUT’s Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune’s Jay Root bring you a mini-episode with our takes on the March 1 Super Tuesday elections. We’ll also hear from Matt Katz of WNYC’s the Christie Tracker podcast on the strange week of Chris Christie: Trump Endorser.


Jason Brackins for the Texas Tribune

By now you've probably heard what Super Tuesday means in terms of the delegate count for the presidential nominating contests. There are almost 2,000 delegates up for grabs across 12 states for the two parties today. But how are those special votes divided up in a primary or caucus?


Reuters/Mike Stone

This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott talk with national Hispanic activist, and former Jeb Bush supporter, Temo Muniz about the Republican primary. Specifically, what do he and other conservative Hispanics do now that Bush is out of the race, and ideas like the mass-deportation of 12 million immigrants are being pushed by top candidates.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman/TexasTribune

Presidential candidates have primaries in two more states this week before turning their full attention to the hundreds of delegates up for grabs on the March 1 Super Tuesday primaries, but what's at stake in the Texas primaries?

Republicans head to Nevada tomorrow. Then, their thoughts and money turn to the South.

Texas Sen.Ted Cruz had hoped South Carolina would be the state that cemented his place as a front-runner after winning the Iowa caucuses.

This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott get you ready for the South Carolina primary by explaining who's voting, who's still running and what could happen on Primary night for both parties. And we'll get an update on what's happening in Texas as we get closer to Super Tuesday – with Democratic strategist Colin Strother.


Bob Daemmrich for KUT News

As he pursues the GOP presidential nomination, a key part of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s Iowa strategy has been to visit all 99 counties in that state — a strategy called "the full Grassley,” named after an Iowa U.S. Senator who visits each county every year. 

But, some have criticized the Cruz campaign for spending more time last week in rural parts of the state in an effort to hit every county, instead of going to the Hawkeye State’s population centers.


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