Increased Turnout in Texas Primary Early Voting
Both parties are up compared to 2014, but Democratic votes are way up.
According to the Texas secretary of state’s website — which tracks only the 15 counties with the most registered voters — 161,607 people voted in the Democratic primary in 2014 during the first 10 days of early voting. This year, 310,275 people voted in the Democratic primary in the same span — a 92 percent increase. Polls closed Friday at 7 p.m., with Election Day on Tuesday.
On the GOP side, 273,293 people had voted in the Republican primary as of Thursday. That’s still an 18 percent increase from 2014, when 231,530 voted in the Republican primary during the first 10 days of early voting.
One should be cautious about drawing too many inferences from such numbers, but it does seem more than fair to say that this indicates an unusually high level of voter interest from Democratic voters in Texas heading into the mid-terms. Since one of the main advantages that Republicans historically have in mid-term elections is turnout, this is an indicator that should concern Republicans looking towards November.
And yes, Republican numbers are up as well (but, again: up 92% for Dems and only 18% for Reps), which I would take as a general indication that the 2018 mid-terms are going to see higher than normal turnout in general, and that races will be more competitive than is normally the case.