Political news

Homepage of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston.

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos has said no to Russian officials’ request to watch Texans vote, according to correspondence obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Charles Pierce/Codie Smith

Voters in state House District 46 face an unusual predicament this November — unless they want to flip Republican, most of those casting ballots in the reliably Democratic district will opt for an incumbent Democrat who's already said she won't serve.

It was tense even before they started. Reporters tweeted that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump entered the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner from separate sides of the room, and didn't even shake hands (which at this point really isn't a surprise).

But there was hope that Thursday night's event could serve as a comedic salve for the nation following three decidedly nasty presidential debates. The fundraising event for Catholic charities — now in its 71st year — traditionally is a time for the candidates to offer jokes about themselves and their opponent.

Laura Buckman/Texas Tribune

DALLAS — Donald Trump's top supporter in Texas said Thursday he expects a "peaceful transition" of power in November as the Republican presidential nominee continued to decline to promise he would accept the outcome of the election.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who chairs Trump's efforts in Texas, told reporters he thinks Trump was "misunderstood" during his debate Wednesday with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, when he repeatedly ducked the question of whether he would respect the results on Nov. 8.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

This week, the Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott taped before a crowd at KLRU's historic studio 6A, former host of the iconic TV show "Austin City Limits."


As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in the final presidential debate, follow along with the talk of Texas and, if you want to join the conversation, be sure to tag your tweets and Facebook posts #TXdecides. 

While there's sure to be plenty of chatter during and after the debate, be sure to tune in to our taping of KUT and the Texas Tribune's podcast, The Ticket 2016. It'll be a Facebook Live pre-debate show with Jay Root of the Tribune and our own Ben Philpott. They'll recap the latest news ahead of the final debate, and the event will also feature some comedy from our friends at ColdTowne Theater. The event starts at 7 p.m. on our Facebook page.

Meg Kelly/NPR

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have faced off in the third and final presidential debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. 

Watch the debate below from PBS Newshour and follow along with NPR's full transcript and annotated fact check below. 

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

As Donald Trump intensifies his claims that widespread voter fraud this November could derail his election, he is finding a sympathetic constituency among some Texas Republicans who have long sounded the alarm about mischief at the ballot box.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein made stops in Austin yesterday. Before an event at Huston-Tillotson University Monday evening, Stein met with a small crowd at a public library downtown. The event was specifically geared toward Texans who are disabled.

Join KUT's Ben Philpott and The Texas Tribune's Jay Root for a live recording of their podcast, The Ticket 2016 – a look at presidential politics from a Texas perspective. Ben and Jay will kick off the evening with a review of the latest news from the campaign trail, including some debate comedy from our friends at 

Photo by KUT News

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a major part of the Voting Rights Act a couple of years ago, states like Texas haven’t had federal oversight in elections.

As a result, civil rights groups have had to flag and sometimes sue state official over violations of federal voting laws ahead of this year’s election.

So, yeah. This year has been a bummer for democracy. Like many of you, I’ve been avoiding political ads like I avoid I-35.

That is, until I saw a new ad from Gerald Daugherty, a moderate Republican running for re-election to the Travis County Commission’s Precinct Three seat. For those that don't know Daugherty, he's the lone conservative on the county commission. His main issue has been getting State Highway 45 Southwest built — which would connect FM 1626 in Hays County to MoPac in southwest Austin.

MIchael Stravato/Shelby Tauber via Texas Tribune

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump leads Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by only 4 percentage points in solidly red Texas, according to a new poll. That's within the margin of error. 

The WFAA/SurveyUSA poll found Trump beating Clinton 47 percent to 43 percent — a remarkably close margin in a state that the last two GOP nominees carried by double digits. The poll's margin of error is 4 percent. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

The head of the largest Latino advocacy group in the U.S. says both major political parties in Texas dropped the ball on Latino voter outreach this year.


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is now almost certain to stand trial on criminal fraud charges. That’s because the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today refused Paxton’s last request to have the felony indictments dismissed.

KUT's Nathan Bernier learns more from Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy.

Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

Texans across the state will soon be inundated with TV and radio ads ahead of this year’s presidential election. However, the ads won't be from candidates running for office, but from the state of Texas. The state-funded ads are intended to inform voters of the recent court-ordered changes to Texas' voter ID law.

Bill Clark for Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The highest criminal court in Texas said Wednesday it will not hear Ken Paxton's appeal of securities fraud charges, putting the attorney general on a path to facing a trial in the coming months. 

Nathan Bernier / KUT

Today is the last possible day to register to vote in Texas. And, if you haven’t gotten around to registering, don't worry. We got you.

Here are some of your options:

If you already have a voter registration form sitting around in your house and you just haven’t mailed it in, make sure you mail it in and get it postmarked by midnight today. 

If you don’t have a form, in-person registration is the way to go. In Austin, you have a lot of spots for that because two local businesses are working with Travis County’s voter registrar to help voters get registered today.

90 Percent of Travis County Is Registered to Vote

Oct 11, 2016
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Travis County reached a voter registration milestone ahead of this year’s presidential election. Local election officials set a goal after the 2012 election to have 90 percent of the county registered. As of yesterday, officials met that goal.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Top Texas Republicans are condemning lewd comments Donald Trump made about women — but not backing off their support for their party's presidential nominee.

"These comments are disturbing and inappropriate, there is simply no excuse for them," tweeted U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who recently endorsed Trump after a months-long holdout. "Every wife, mother, daughter — every person — deserves to be treated with dignity and respect."