2010 Midterm Elections

People voted all Republican or all Democratic at the highest rate of any gubernatorial election in twelve years, according to a study by Austin Community College's Center for Public Policy and Political Studies (CPPPS).

Texas is one several states that allows people to check one box for a political party, which prompts the electronic voting machine to fill in the "X" automatically for every race on the ballot.  The CPPPS study showed almost 58 percent chose that option in the most recent election.

Democrats at the Driskill
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Some well-known Central Texas Democrats lost their seats tonight.  In the U.S. House race for District 17, Chet Edwards lost to Republican Bill Flores, a first-time office seeker.  Edwards was a nearly 20 year veteran of the Congress and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. 

Closer to home, Patrick Rose, a Hays Country Democrat first elected in 2002, lost to Republican Jason Isaacs. Matt Stiles of the Texas Tribune says both Democrats just ran out of luck.

Bike lane
Photo by Rachel Wilcox for KUT News

With tonight's passage of the $90 million transportation bond, the city of Austin can expect to see new construction projects around the city. Hill Abell is a cycling enthusiast and owner of Bicycle Sport Shop. He told Gretch Sanders that approving Proposition 1 is a step towards a more sustainable future for Austinites.

We were messing around on this new news blog of ours when the Statesman's Gardner Selby shot us an email to let us know we can embed their fact checking widget. Gardner is the editor of PolitiFact Texas and often participates in KUT's weekly political podcast.

Here's a look at some campaign claims held up to the blistering light of journalistic fact checking. 

If all goes according to plan, the biggest news stories won't be written until after the polls close at 7 o'clock tonight. But here's some of what's being reported across Texas right now.

Texas Monthly columnist Paul Burka has numbers from a Republican consultant suggesting double digit losses for House Democrats.  Nothing shocking to hear that from a GOP operative, but the post is making the rounds today and is worth a glance. 

Travis County eSlate voting machine
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

As Austinites head to the polls tomorrow, political campaigns around the county are already handicapping the election, based on turnout for early voting.  KUT News spoke with Democratic political consultant Mark Littlefield to learn about his analysis of early voting trends in Travis County.

Tracy Olson/Flickr flickr.com/tracy_olson/

Texas is staring down the barrel of a budget shortfall that could reach $25 billion or higher. It's a staggering figure, considering that California was practically brought to its knees over a $20 billion budget deficit. That was in a state that spends twice as much as Texas.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Travis County Clerk says she's looking to hire dozens of people for Election Day.

“We have a critical need for about 100 election workers,” Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said in a media release. “We’ve recruited quite a few precinct judges who are new to the process, and they need help finding clerks to work with them.”

Photo illustration by Nathan Benrier

It's a secret trick of the news business. Nothing interesting to report during an election campaign? Commission a poll! Congratulations, you just bought yourself a front page story.

Polls can have news value: they help voters understand trends and feel the direction of political winds, but not all polls are created equally, even if the media tends to report on them as if they were.

Photo courtesy TDS website

The Texas Republican Party just revealed the location of its election night celebration: the Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch.