Justin Miller

Justin Miller is the politics reporter for the Observer. He previously covered politics and policy for The American Prospect in Washington, D.C., and has also written for The Intercept, The New Republic and In These Times. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

By Justin Miller:

Texas Politics

Henry Cuellar Prevailed Against Progressive Insurgency, But He Didn’t Go Unscathed

The resilient Blue Dog Democrat held on to his South Texas seat, but it was a much closer call than expected.

This article was produced in partnership with The Nation. A few hours after Jessica Cisneros voted at her local polling station—a Pep Boys auto shop near Laredo’s Sal Si Puedes neighborhood, where she grew up—the 26-year-old attorney began to knock … Read More

Bernie Sanders surrounded by supporters at a campaign rally in Texas.
Texas Politics

These Primary Races Will Test Texas’ Progressive Movement

Up and down the ballot, progressives are running up against establishment Democrats. The outcome could shape the future of politics in the state.

2018 offered a spark of hope for Democrats in Texas: Beto O’Rourke ran a competitive Senate campaign, and Dems flipped several reliably Republican congressional and legislative seats. Hoping to build that momentum in 2020, national groups have swooped in and … Read More

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, walks away after speaking with reporters outside of Speaker Pelosi's office about the agreement to take up the Senate border bill on Thursday, June 27, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Texas Politics

The Party Pariah

How Henry Cuellar rose to power—and how he intends to stay there.

The Party Pariah How Henry Cuellar rose to power—and how he intends to stay there. * by Justin Miller February 28, 2020 Over the course of his nearly 35 years as a politician, Henry Cuellar has managed to piss off … Read More

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, talks with reporters in the senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Texas Politics

John Cornyn Bets Big on Trump

During the impeachment proceedings, Cornyn proved that his calculation is the same as the entire GOP’s: Live with Trump, die with Trump.

It’s become abundantly clear that U.S. Senator John Cornyn has no intention of distancing himself from Donald Trump, the man who will forever be immortalized in American history books as the third president to be impeached. Cornyn has proved to … Read More

In this January 11, 2020 photoGary Gates, a Republican businessman running for a Texas state house seat up for special election in the suburbs west of Houston speaks in front of campaign signs placed on a volunteers lawn in Katy, Texas. Gates' opponent, Eliz Markowitz, is getting national endorsements from big name Democrats before voters go the polls on January 28. (AP Photo/ John L. Mone)
Texas Politics

What the GOP’s Big Win in Fort Bend County Means for 2020

The special election runoff rout is a sobering reminder for Democrats that the GOP still dominates much of Texas. But it wasn’t the 2020 death knell that Republicans have made it out to be.

Democrats wanted to send a message in the Texas House District 28 special election runoff. A strong performance by Democrat Eliz Markowitz in Fort Bend County’s reddest legislative district would have demonstrated that the Republican hold on the Texas suburbs—and … Read More

Beto O'Rourke, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, gets ready to speak at the Pan American Neighborhood Park in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Texas Politics

He May Not Be a Candidate, but Beto O’Rourke is Rebuilding His Texas Organizing Machine for 2020

O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate campaign was fueled by an organizing network of 20,000 volunteers. Can he harness that energy again without being on the ticket?

Beto O’Rourke began 2019 as a political phenom, but ended it as an also-ran. The much-hyped former U.S. representative from El Paso initially rode a wave of optimism from his nationally watched Senate campaign, but struggled to gain support in … Read More

A petrochemical plant is seen in this aerial view Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008 in Port Arthur, Texas. Hurricane Ike hit the Texas Gulf Coast Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

As Fossil Fuel Industry Invests Billions in New Texas Facilities, it Could Unleash a Huge Emissions Bomb

A new report finds that a pipeline of new and proposed oil and gas projects—many of them in Texas—could produce half a billion tons of additional greenhouse gas emissions a year.

A hulking new $10 billion ethane cracker near Corpus Christi set for completion by 2022. A trio of approved liquified natural gas export terminals near Brownsville that could be up and running by the end of 2023. A $5 billion … Read More

Political strategist and pundit Karl Rove was an architect of the GOP takeover of Texas in the 1980s. Now, he's come home to ensure Trump doesn't unravel his legacy.
Texas Politics

The Return of Karl Rove

Political strategist and pundit Karl Rove was an architect of the GOP takeover of Texas in the 1980s. Now, he's come home to ensure Trump doesn't unravel his legacy.

Former Dallas Morning News political journalist Wayne Slater remembers the moment well. He was sitting at a sports bar near downtown Austin one day in the late 1980s, listening to a quixotic political consultant pitch his plan to turn Texas—a … Read More

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks during a campaign rally for President Donald Trump, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Texas Politics

Questions About Politics in 2020 That Aren’t ‘Will Texas Turn Blue?’

Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for a clash in Texas. Here’s the context you need to understand the coming year in politics.

As we head into 2020, brace yourself for an onslaught of headlines from national media posing a reductive question: “Will Texas Turn Blue?” It’s become something of a biannual assignment for political commentators. Yes, 2020 could very likely be a … Read More