It’s too early to say if this year’s early voting numbers are a portent of historic voting levels in a Texas midterm election, or just robbing numbers from the regular general election date.
One thing is for certain – early voting is up this year is way up. And the number of registered voters is way up too – 15.8 million according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
The number of votes cast in just the first week of early voting this year has surpassed the entire early voting numbers for the 2014 Texas midterm election. If those numbers continue and the general election turnout is average, we could break the forty percent voter turnout mark this year, the first time that’s been done in a midterm general election in about two decades.
The unanswerable question at this point is whether Texas GOP voters are re-electing Cruz, or, is there an upset in the making by Democratic voters for O’Rourke?
Historically, early voting tends to favor Republican candidates in Texas, but O’Rourke has made a major push to register and motivate Hispanic and younger voters to cast ballots. We’ll know how successful that push was next Tuesday evening.
Early voting ends this Friday, Nov. 2.
Regards from Austin,
Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Texas Association of Broadcasters