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KUT News

Today, Feb. 1, is the deadline to register to vote in the March 1 primary elections in Texas.

Not sure if your Travis County voter registration has expired? Or even whether voter registrations do expire? If you’re unsure about your voter status – or if you know you definitely do need to register – you can check yourself and get the required forms at the Secretary of State's office's website VoteTexas.gov. @VoteTexas also has a social media presence on Twitter, and representatives are responding to people’s questions posed to the Twitter account. 

Finally, after more than 10 months of campaigning from more than a dozen presidential candidates, voters get to weigh in. Iowa Republicans and Democrats will caucus Monday night, and the results could at long last provide some clarity to the Republican and Democratic nominating contests — or not.

Here are five things we're watching:

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.


Join KUT’s Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune’s Jay Root, Thursday, Feb. 11, for a free community event featuring a live recording of their podcast, The Ticket 2016: A look at presidential politics from a Texas perspective.

Following the live recording – featuring special guest Democratic strategist Colin Strother and a review of the latest from the campaign trail – we’ll air the PBS Democratic Primary Debate at 8 p.m.

Screenshot from Fox News via Youtube

Texas Senator Ted Cruz took the stage last night in Iowa as the frontrunner – the highest polling candidate in attendance, because Donald Trump refused to show up. So how did Cruz handle the spotlight?


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

Voters in primary states begin casting ballots for a new president starting next week.   

So far, many of the presidential front-runners owe their success to their ability to appeal to voter frustration and anger, but other voters say the negative feelings fueling this year’s election are an even bigger concern.

Ben Philpott for KUT News

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has always worn his faith on his sleeve. So it was no surprise when he staked his claim with evangelical voters as a Presidential candidate. Now, those faith voters in Iowa are pushing his campaign to the top.


Ben Philpott for KUT News

KUT political reporter Ben Philpott is following GOP presidential primary contender Sen. Ted Cruz through Iowa this week as the senator from Texas gears up for the caucuses.

From @tedcruz's twitter profile

With a week before the Iowa Caucuses, Texas Senator Ted Cruz will spend that time crisscrossing the state, making a couple dozen stops before the big night. KUT’s Ben Philpott landed in the Hawkeye state Sunday to follow the Senator and has a preview to kick the week off.


Cooper Neill/Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: DAVENPORT, Iowa — Former Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed Ted Cruz for president, Politico reported early Monday.

The move comes more than four months after Perry dropped out of the race himself — and a week before the first-in-the-country caucus in Iowa. Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas, is locked in a tight battle there with billionaire Donald Trump. 

This week on The Ticket 2016: Everything you wanted to know about how the presidential primary delegate system works…but were afraid to ask. From the number needed to win a party nomination, to how different states dole them out, and everything in between.

And with the first votes of 2016 about to be cast, hosts Jay Root and Ben Philpott will revisit their dissection last summer of the Donald Trump campaign on Stump Interrupted.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, speaking in Florida, said, "In Houston, Texas, today, there are no homeless veterans." For real? KUT's Nathan Bernier asks PolitiFact Texas reporter Gardner Selby.

Screenshot from Fox News via Youtube

With two weeks to go before the Iowa Caucuses, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is running neck-and-neck with Donald Trump to win the first state voting for the GOP nominee. Cruz was on FOX News Sunday to try to strengthen his position in Iowa, but he spent much of that appearance defending his campaign rhetoric and Senate record.

KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: After a news article noted that Ted Cruz did not report a loan from his wife’s employer during his 2012 bid for U.S. Senate, Cruz’s presidential campaign acknowledged Wednesday evening that the loan should have been disclosed in campaign finance reports.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A year out of office, former Gov. Rick Perry has a new job: chief strategy officer at MCNA Dental, the largest privately held dental insurance company in the country, according to a spokesman for Perry.

The Florida-based insurer does business in Texas, and was a major donor to Perry’s presidential campaign.

In his final State of the Union address, President Obama delivered an impassioned defense of his record by painting a portrait of a country very much in its prime.

MANDEL NGAN/POOL / GETTY IMAGES

Here are a few safe bets for Tuesday's State of the Union: There will be dozens of applause breaks, endless GIF-worthy moments and a laundry list of proposals (not to mention lots of reporters using the phrase "laundry list" for the first — and maybe only — time this year).

One more bet: Most of those proposals won't be successful.

Chris Maddaloni/ The Texas Tribune

In a fresh — but long shot — assertion of states’ rights, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday called for a convention of U.S. states to pass nine new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, measures meant to limit the powers of the federal government.

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