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The Brief: Why Are Some Texas Voters Still Undecided?

Voters who have yet to make up their minds give different reasons for not making a final decision between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

People stand in line to vote for the primaries at the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas campus on March 1, 20…

The Big Conversation

Three months ahead of the presidential election, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are busy courting the support of the likely voters who have yet to make up their minds — and some in Texas tell the Tribune why they remain undecided in a highly divisive race.

As Kirby Wilson writes, both major-party candidates have been campaigning for more than a year and differ on a range of issues, realities that might prompt some observers to wonder, What more information could a voter be waiting for?

To many undecided voters in Texas, that question misses the point,” Wilson writes.

Texans interviewed attributed their ambivalence to the historically unpopular candidates to a range of factors — from frustrations with the two-party system to opposition to Trump’s rhetoric and distrust in Clinton.

Lorena Reyna, 27, of Austin, probably spoke for many of them. “I really can’t see myself voting for either Trump or Hillary,” she said.

Trib Must Reads

Touring Texas, Ted Cruz Calls for "Return to Common Sense," by Patrick Svitek — Ted Cruz, seeking to reconnect with Texans after a brutal presidential race, told business leaders in San Antonio on Wednesday that the United States needs a "return to common sense."

Jeff Wood Never Killed Anyone, But Texas Plans to Execute Him, by Jolie McCullough — Jeff Wood was outside in a pickup when his partner killed a Kerrville convenience store clerk in 1996, but he was sentenced to death under Texas' felony murder statute commonly known as the law of parties.

Federal Judge Approves Plan to Weaken Texas Voter ID Law, by Khorri Atkinson — A federal judge on Wednesday approved a plan that says it won't be mandatory for Texans to present an ID in order to vote in the November general election.

Anti-Abortion Advocate's Group Receives Large Women's Health Grant, by Edgar Walters — A group led by an anti-abortion advocate appears to be one of the largest recipients of state funding from the “Healthy Texas Women” program, which lawmakers recently created to help women find health care services paid for by the state.

News From Home

•    Will Texans vote in November? Join us in August for a civic social weekend. The Texas Tribune is teaming up with the Society of News Design — and collaborators like you — to examine Texas’s low voter turnout rates, and what can be done to better engage and inform voters. Registration is free, but space is limited. See our event listing now to apply.

•    We're hiring. After nearly seven years of successful storytelling we’re considered the gold standard in nonprofit news, and we need you on our engineering team to help us refine and perfect our story-building process. For more details and requirements, click here.

Elsewhere

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Unusual new ‘candidate’ steps into presidential raceSan Antonio Express-News

Battle lines drawn in professors’ suit over handguns in UT classroomsAustin American-Statesman

Public gets a closer look at proposed high-speed train link to San Antonio, San Antonio Express-News

More money approved for proposed security enhancements at Dallas police buildings, The Dallas Morning News

Houston housing market takes summertime hitHouston Chronicle

Chesapeake Energy to Exit Barnett, Birthplace of Shale Boom, Bloomberg

Texas mussel proposed as endangered, with implications for waterways, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

“It's a strange political season right now. I don't know what's going to happen nationally in the political season, but I do know as a country, we need a return to common sense.” 

— U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking at a chamber of commerce breakfast in San Antonio on Wednesday

Today in TribTalk

Dying patients shouldn't have to fight the federal government, by Christina Sandefur — "Right to try" recognizes that if they want to try an investigational treatment that may bring serious risks — but might also save their lives — that choice should be theirs.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   A Conversation with state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and state Reps. Terry Canales and Bobby Guerra on Aug. 26 at UT Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg

•   The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

•   TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Four Price and John Smithee on Oct. 4 at Amarillo College in Amarillo

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