Regardless of how tomorrow goes, the one thing we can reliably note, is that come Wednesday, you won’t have to watch anymore political adds or receive mail and emails from Candidates! Yay!
The last day of early voting was Friday, November 4th and statewide, a cumulative 5,490,019 people voted early either through mail or in-person. That equals 31.07% of the 17,672,143 registered voters. In 2018, early voters cast 65.3% of the total votes counted statewide in the 2018 elections. Meaning, turn-out is low. However, in a non-Presidential year, that is to be expected. For candidates at this point, it really means identifying your voters and turning them out.
The top 20 most populous counties (Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, Collin, Denton, Fort Bend, El Paso, Hidalgo, Williamson, Montgomery, Galveston, Brazoria, Bell, Cameron, Nueces, Lubbock, Hayes, McLennan) represent 73% of the early vote.
The next 20 counties, mostly suburban and West Texas metros (Smith, Jefferson, Webb, Ellis, Comal, Brazos, Guadalupe, Johnson, Parker, Midland, Randall, Kaufman, Grayson, Taylor, Ector, Rockwall, Wichita, Gregg, Tom Green, and Hunt) represent 12% of the early vote. The remaining 212 rural counties represent 16% of the vote.
There are big differences in the big cities and the more rural voting population. Of note, both Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick have spent a lot of time in the rural areas.
In the primaries, the top 25 counties represented 60% of the GOP Party’s vote but 86% of the Democratic vote. These 25 counties represent 77% of the early vote. On average the top 25 counties, according to voting data from Derek Ryan, have a split where 33% of early voters have a Republican voting history, 34% with a Democratic voting history and 33% with general election only, or no voting history at all. Those with no voting history are hard to predict.
What does this mean? Well, to sum it up, when people say tomorrow night will be a long election night full of close races, they aren’t exaggerating!
With two highly competitive Senate races , and about half a dozen competitive House races, tomorrow night will be a long night/early morning.
Here is a new tidbit for you: On the Statewide side, the races for Governor and Railroad Commissioner have both a Libertarian and a Green Party candidate. However, the races for Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, and Supreme Court Justice Place 3 (Justice Lehrman) only have a Libertarian third party candidate, which will presumably pull from the Republican candidate and the Commissioner for General Land Office has only a Green Party candidate, presumably pulling from the Democratic party. So, these third-party candidates can also influence these races… Stay tuned.
There is a lot of prediction as we go to press. Tomorrow, on election night, we will have a much clearer understanding as the first early voting ballot percentages come out initially. Some races will be called shortly thereafter. Others, who knows how long close races will take to determine a winner.
Tomorrow is the last day to vote!
We will keep you posted.
Lara Laneri Keel