Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Texas Early Turnout Day 8 - Blue Wave Yet?

Going into the second week of early voting, it has become increasingly clear Texas is in the midst of an unprecedented turnout midterm election. Texans in some Texas counties have waited in lines for hours to cast their votes. The result has been record-breaking midterm vote totals across the state.

As of Monday, day eight of early voting, 3,354,029 Texans have cast in-person and by-mail in ballots in the 30 counties where most registered voters in the state — 78 percent — live. That preliminary turnout has surpassed the total votes cast in those counties during the entire two-week early voting period in the last midterm election in 2014. So far this year, 27.4 percent of the 12.26 million registered voters in those 30 counties have voted.


We still have too little data to predict the specific election outcomes or the long-term effect of this unprecedented outpouring of voter interest, but we know for certain that Texans are fired up and ready to vote. This state generally sees fewer than 39 percent of registered voters regularly participating in midterm elections.

Voter participation in this year is nearly three times that of the 2014 midterm and is near the pace set during the 2016 presidential election. assuming turnout will continue at the pace set during early voting, total turnout for this election will likely top 60 percent of record high number of registered voters

Historically, midterms have been viewed as a referendum on the party occupying the White House. This political axiom seems magnified this year as Donald Trump has made every effort to nationalize this midterm. Trump’s name is not on the ballot, but the president clearly is casting a big shadow on this election.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Texas Early Turnout Day 4 - Blue Wave Yet?


Early voting in 2018 midterm general election turnout and enthusiasm are unusually strong among both Republicans and Democrats across the U.S., including Texas.

As of day three of early voting, 1,344,741 Texans have cast in-person ballots and 240,601 cast mail-in ballots in the 30 counties where most registered voters in the state — 78 percent — live. That turnout equals 79 percent of the total votes cast in those counties during the entire two-week early voting period in the last midterm election in 2014.

So far this year, 12.9 percent of the 12.3 million registered voters in those 30 counties have voted. If turnout rates remain at these levels, we could see presidential election year turnout levels across Texas and the U.S., which would be virtually unprecedented.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

What A Texas Blue Wave Might Look Like


Texas Democrats have been losing midterm elections by more or less a two-to-one turnout margin since Ann Richards lost her 1994 Gubernatorial re-election to George Bush. Democrats can chalk up their long losing streak to one thing: Only about one in three Texans registered to vote have cast ballots in midterm elections over the last quarter century, and it's Democrats who haven’t been turning out at the polls.

Texas is tied for lowest voter turnout in the nation with Washington D.C., a non-state where residents have no representation in the Congress. Turnout is depressed because the lion’s share of more progressive-minded younger Texans have grown up with a mindset Texas is such an overwhelmingly red conservative Republican State that has been so gerrymandered by Republicans their vote will never count, so they don’t vote. That’s why Texas Democrats have adopted the saying, “Texas is not a red state. It's a non-voting one.”
With a crush of last minute voter registration applications submitted to county election offices in last 30 days before the October 9th registration deadline, a record 15,793,257 Texans are registered for this midterm election. That is a 4 percent increase over the 15.2 million who were registered for this year’s March primaries and an increase of nearly 13 percent (1.8 million) over the last midterm year of 2014. The registration increase for this midterm outpaces the 6 percent (1.4 million) overall voting age population (VAP) increase across Texas.
In the last four midterm elections, between 33.6 percent and 38 percent of registered voters actually showed up to vote. If this year’s turnout is within those bounds, 5.2 million to 5.9 million Texans will vote.

That would break the 5-million-vote mark for the first time, but it would still mean that 9.7 million to 10.4 million registered voters in the state of Texas — slightly less than two-thirds of them — signed up to vote without actually getting themselves to the polls. And that would be bad news for Democrats, because it means their voters stayed home for yet another election.

To win Texas, Democrats must get their voters to turnout in a midterm election year for the first time. Beyond the traditional turnout levels of 33.6 percent to 38 percent of registered voters, Democrats must change the electoral math to get more than one in ten registered voters to vote for Democrats rather than their usual Republican choice, or stay home and not vote Republican as usual, or vote for the first time in a midterm, or be a first time ever voter — or all the above.