2012 U.S. Senate Race

2012 Election
8:00 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Against the Grain, Texas GOP Dominated on Election Day

Tea Party favorite Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz with daughter Caroline announcing his victory at a watch party in Houston, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012.
Michael Stravato, Texas Tribune

Democratic victories across the nation left Republican voters and activists with the political version of a hangover last week. In the alternate universe known as Texas, they are blaming the Champagne.

Republicans here are celebrating another statewide sweep. They held onto huge majorities in the Legislature and the Texas congressional delegation. And at a time of increasing angst about their ability to thrive as the Hispanic population grows, the Texas Republican Party has fielded the first Hispanic U.S. senator from Texas — Ted Cruz.

“Thank God for Texas,” Chris Turner, a Republican consultant, said in a post-election speech to Republican activists in a conservative suburb of Austin. He said, joking, that the state might consider using stimulus money “to build a moat around our northern border.”

Nationwide, conservatives watched as Democrats scored come-from-behind victories in some red-state U.S. Senate contests and thinned out the Republican Party’s majority in the U.S. House. Victories by gay rights proponents and supporters of legalized pot did nothing to lift their spirits.

Read more
2012 Election
9:19 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Cruz Easily Wins U.S. Senate Race

Ted Cruz supporters at his election night watch party in Houston on July 31, 2012.
Michael Stravato, Texas Tribune

Ted Cruz, a Harvard-educated lawyer and Tea Party icon, easily won the U.S. Senate race Tuesday night, becoming the first Hispanic from Texas to land the job.

Cruz had a huge, insurmountable lead in early returns. In early statewide returns, his total was slightly behind Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's total, but the gap represented a relatively low number of split ballots. Romney was beating President Obama by more than 15 points with about 10 percent of the precincts reporting, according to early unofficial returns.

The outcome of the U.S. Senate race was never much in doubt. Democrats haven’t won statewide in Texas since 1994, and Democrat Paul Sadler had so little money — about 5 percent of what Cruz raised — that he couldn’t even afford to run a single TV ad hitting all media markets.

Read more
2012 Election
6:55 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Central Texas Election Results

Check back here for results from all the races in Central Texas, except local elections including city propositions and bonds, Central Health, and school board races. 

2012 Presidential Election
9:52 am
Tue November 6, 2012

The Battle For Congress: Senate And House Races To Watch

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., shakes hands with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren at their Oct. 1 debate in Lowell, Mass. The race is one of a handful of contests that could determine party control of the Senate.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 6:02 pm

For Republicans itching to regain control of the Senate, Tuesday's election presents a rare opportunity. Only 10 GOP incumbents are on the ballot, compared with nearly two dozen Democrats and independents who caucus with them.

That means the magic number for Republicans is low. They need only a net gain of three or four seats to take over the Senate — and, assuming they keep the U.S. House of Representatives, consolidate their influence on Capitol Hill. Democrats need to pick up 25 seats to seize the House, a goal that political analysts consider all but out of reach.

Read more
Austin
9:07 am
Thu November 1, 2012

The Lead: Texas Women's Health, Transpo Brawl in Travis Co. Dist. 3, More Cities Prep for F1

RIP, Mark Murray.
Credit KVUE

Good morning and welcome to the month of November! Here's hoping you don’t look scarier this morning that you did last night. It’s going to be another warm day with temperatures in the mid-80s. 

Here’s some stories KUT has been working on:

Texas Women's Health Program Won't Launch As Planned

Despite comments Wednesday morning from Texas Health and Human Services Commission executive director Kyle Janek indicating the program would be ready to start on Nov. 1, an agency spokeswoman confirmed that the state-led program would not begin until ongoing court controversy over the issue is clarified.

Candidates Battle Over Transportation

The results of the Nov. 6 elections will determine the priorities for Austin and Travis County. One of the top concerns in the area is transportation infrastructure. The Texas Department of Transportation has no money to build new roads. It spends what it gets from tax money just doing repairs and maintenance. Different ideas on how to do just that are colliding in the race for Travis County Commissioner.

Read more
Politics
8:45 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Cruz Bests Dewhurst in Republican Senate Runoff

The Associated Press has called the U.S. Senate Republican runoff for former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz over Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.

Cruz will go on to meet Democrat Paul Sadler this November in the contest for the Senate seat.

It’s a reversal of fortune for Dewhurst, who lead on the night of the general election.

Read more
Politics
12:00 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Runoff's Storyline Doesn't Begin and End With Ideology

Todd Wiseman / Gage Skidmore, Texas Tribune

The pundits have this one all wrong.

Their persistent and ubiquitous storyline is that the Tea Party and the politicians who've embraced it are beating stodgy incumbents all over the country, winning an ideological battle against moderates whose conservative blades have been dulled by years of governing and compromising.

The argument travels through Indiana, where a longtime U.S. Senate incumbent who apparently didn’t visit home often enough lost to an insurgent candidate who wasn’t supposed to have a shot. It hopped to Nebraska, where two statewide officeholders beat the stuffing out of each other while a lesser-known candidate favored by insurgents emerged unscratched.

Read more
Politics
3:21 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Dewhurst Dismisses Unfavorable Poll at Chick-fil-A

US Senate Candidate David Dewhurst outside Chick-Fil-A in Austin, TX on July 30, 2012
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst crossed the Chick-fil-A parking lot in Austin on Monday morning holding one of the fast food chain’s signature white paper bags. He stopped before a phalanx of reporters and television cameras positioned nearby so that the Chick-fil-A sign would be visible behind him.

“Sorry I’m a few minutes late,” Dewhurst said.

The previous 12 hours had not been good for the lieutenant governor. Though his primary runoff against former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz isn't until tomorrow, Politico practically called the race for Cruz in a story published Sunday evening. An hour later, a new independent poll came out showing Cruz leading Dewhurst by 10 points.

Read more
Politics
4:14 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Cruz, Dewhurst Set to Spar Again

Ted Cruz (l) and David Dewhurst (r) will hold a thrid and final debate next week.
Jennifer Whitney, Texas Tribune

Two debates weren’t enough.

The Texas Tribune reports that the two candidates in the Republican runoff election for U.S. Senate – Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and former Solicitor General Ted Cruz – have agreed to a third debate. It's scheduled for Monday, July 23,  the first day of early voting in the runoff:

The King Street Patriots, a Houston-area Tea Party group, and Fox 26, a Houston-based affiliate, are scheduled to host a televised debate in front of a live audience Monday at 6 p.m. Details on airings statewide weren't immediately clear.

Read more
Politics
12:21 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Second Debate for Dewhurst and Cruz Tonight

U.S. Senate candidates Cruz (left) and Dewhurst (right).
Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will debate for the second time this evening as they head into the final push towards a runoff election for the U.S. Senate. The seat is being vacated by retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The event will be carried on WFAA in Dallas and streamed live on wfaa.com. The debate could intensify the already contentious tone between the two. 

Despite the bitter campaign, the two agree on most major issues. Both are calling for the repeal of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, stronger border security and fewer regulations on business. Agreement on the issues may help explain recent character attacks, making honesty rather than policy a major theme in the campaign.

Read more
Politics
10:17 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Senate Camps Trade Accusation: Lies, Lies, More Lies

Todd Spoth / Michael Stravato for Texas Tribune

Honesty, specifically a lack thereof, has emerged as a major theme in the Republican primary runoff for an open U.S. Senate seat the day before what could be the last televised debate between the candidates.

Last week, both Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz have accused each other of deceiving or misleading voters on multiple fronts.

In the latest salvos, Dewhurst charges Cruz of trying to hide details of his work as a lawyer, while Cruz says Dewhurst is covering up past statements that conflict with his current positions.

Read more
Politics
4:49 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Cruz Leading Dewhurst in Two New Polls

Todd Spoth / Michael Stravato for Texas Tribune

Two new automated telephone polls show former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz leading Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst among likely voters in the July 31 Republican primary runoff for an open U.S. Senate seat. 

A poll from Public Policy Polling, which surveys races nationally, shows Cruz with 49 percent support and Dewhurst with 44 percent of the vote. Cruz's lead grows wider among voters who identify with the Tea Party movement. Among self-described Tea Party supporters, Cruz leads 71 percent to 26 percent. Dewhurst, meanwhile, leads voters who describe themselves as moderates (70 percent to 20 percent) or "somewhat conservative" (49 percent to 45 percent).

"This race is one of the most stark examples of the Tea Party movement propelling a candidate that we've seen to date," polling director Tom Jensen said.

Read more
Politics
2:12 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Texas Senate Republicans Jump to Dewhurst's Defense

Lt Governor David Dewhurst will face former Solicitor General Ted Cruz in a run-off on July 31st.
Jennifer Whitney, Texas Tribune

Texas Republican Senators came to the defense of David Dewhurst yesterday, issuing a letter defending him from what they see as erroneous attacks from opposing candidate Ted Cruz. The letter, crafted by the Texas Senate Republican Caucus says that Cruz’s claims about Dewhurst supporting state income tax and so-called “sanctuary cities” are false. 

Read more
AM Update 7/2/12
7:35 am
Mon July 2, 2012

AM Update: Last Day to Register for Run-offs, 'Sit and Lie' in East Austin, Longhorns to London

The deadline to register to vote in the July 31 Run-off Election is today.
KUT News

Deadline to Register to Vote in Run-off Elections

Today is the last day to register to vote in the July 31 Primary Run-off election.

You can find a registration form at VoteTexas.gov or at local libraries or post offices. Forms must be post-marked by today.

Read more
Politics
11:10 am
Fri June 29, 2012

On Most Major Issues, Cruz and Dewhurst Agree

U.S. Senate candidates Cruz (left) and Dewhurst (right).
Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

For the two Republican U.S. Senate runoff candidates, who have been running against each other for almost a year, the question directed at them during last week's televised debate could not have been more straightforward. 

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor general, were each given 30 seconds to identify an issue that could come before the Senate on which they would vote differently.

A minute later, neither had identified an area of disagreement.

Read more
Politics
4:37 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

With a Runoff, Dynamics Change in Senate Race

Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

Even with nine candidates in the Republican primary to replace United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, just about everybody bet on Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to win outright.

Instead, he is in a runoff against Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor general, an energetic opponent who tapped into the anti-establishment vein in the Texas Republican Party. Dewhurst is still the front-runner, but he is no longer the inevitability presented throughout the spring.

And now the spotlight is brighter. Dewhurst and Cruz don’t have to compete for attention with a presidential race or contests in other states. National political reporters looking for things to cover are more likely than normal to be planning visits to the Texas barbecue trail. They — like the people they cover — are trying to connect the dots this election year, to figure out whether there is any theme or trend in the results.

Read more
Politics
2:37 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

'Birther' Pains for Dewhurst at GOP Convention

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking today at the state GOP convention in Fort Worth
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst – a candidate for the U.S. Senate – seemed to be taken off guard today when he was confronted during his speech with shouts from "birthers," people who believe Barack Obama has fooled the nation into electing a foreign national as United States president.

The speech didn’t start well for Dewhurst – an establishment Republican candidate locked in a bitter runoff race with tea party favorite Ted Cruz. People began booing him as he started his speech. Or maybe they were chanting “Cruz.” Or maybe, as Governor Perry suggested after an event yesterday, they were simply chanting, “Dew!” for Dewhurst.

Whatever it was, others in the audience shushed the jeers, and Dewhurst delivered a red meat speech that appeared to be well-received.

Read more
12:24 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

At GOP Convention, Applause for Perry (But Boos for Dewhurst)

Gov. Rick Perry delivered a speech this morning filled with red meat for his Republican base, and allusions to his political future, writes KUT News' reporting partners the Texas Tribune. But Perry's support for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wasn't as well received. The Trib has a transcript of the Governor's full remarks.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking at the state’s Republican convention on Thursday, fueled speculation that he’ll run for re-election, saying he was “not riding into the sunset” but “mounting up for the next operation.”
Politics
9:03 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Spanish Debate Proposal Prompts Rumors, Accusations

U.S. Senate candidates Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst.
Photos by Bob Daemmrich, Marjorie Kamys Cotera for the Texas Tribune

A suggestion by a Univision reporter that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz debate in Spanish has taken on a life of its own.

Though neither of the two U.S. Senate candidates in the July 31 Republican primary runoff are actively working to organize a Spanish-language debate, the idea has gained attention from national media and sparked erroneous reports that such an event is actually in the works, a claim both campaigns deny.

According to Univision reports posted online last week in Spanish and English, Dewhurst "has challenged Cruz, the Cuban-American attorney and Tea Party favorite, to a debate in Spanish."

Read more
Politics
10:57 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Republican Battle for U.S. Senate Going to Runoff

The Republican skirmish for the U.S. Senate nomination isn’t any anywhere anytime soon.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is stopping short of the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avoid a runoff. He currently has 46 percent of the vote, or 499,817 votes.            

Former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz is second in a nine candidate field with 33 percent, or 359,177 votes.

Read more

Pages