Day 4 early voting: A brief look around the state

The Trib has it all organized for you.

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 preliminary 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.

Each day, as more data comes in, the graphs below will be updated to show cumulative in-person and mail-in ballot turnout in these counties. The data is preliminary. Texas is widely expected to surpass its 2014 voter turnout, and more than half of all those who do vote are expected to cast their ballots early. Some have speculated turnout this year could approach that of the past two presidential elections. Early voting for the 2018 midterms in Texas started Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 2.

There’s graphs and charts to show you not just where we are now, but also where we were at the same time in 2016, 2014, and 2012. Suffice it to say we’re blowing 2014 out of the water – counties like Dallas, El Paso, and Travis are not just beyond their 2014 numbers, they’re up by two to three times as much as in 2014. That’s quite encouraging. Of course, turnout is up everywhere, including in heavily Republican counties. We’ll need to see some analysis of who has voted to start to make inferences. The person who has become the go-to for this sort of thing is Republican consultant Derek Ryan, who posts daily breakdowns on Twitter; I referred to his data a couple of times during the primary. You can see that (for example) more people with a Republican primary history have voted in Harris County so far than people with a Democratic primary history, but about a third of the electorate has no primary history, with a chunk of them having no previous voting history at all. Keep an eye on that as we go forward.

Anyway. Here are the totals for Thursday, and here are the daily totals from 2010, from 2014, and from 2016, as well as a spreadsheet with totals from 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. The running tallies:

Year    Mail    Early    Total
2010  28,932  104,420  133,352
2014  52,338   80,103  132,441
2018  59,732  249,383  309,115

2008  37,381  170,629  208,010
2012  50,790  201,962  252,752
2016  73,043  293,440  366,483

Thursday was down a bit for in person voting, though it was up for mail ballots; my guess is that the ones that were put in the mail on Monday arrived yesterday. For what it’s worth, Thursday was the weakest day for in person early voting in both 2010 and 2014, though that was not the case in the Presidential years. Don’t know what to make of that, but if that pattern persists we’ll see an uptick today. As I said yesterday, barring anything weird we will either pass or come very close to the final EV total from 2014 after today’s voting.

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9 Responses to Day 4 early voting: A brief look around the state

  1. Manny Barrera says:

    I don’t know about all of Texas but here in Harris County the Republicans are running scared they are mailing cards claiming that Democrats will force Men into Women bathrooms. The last time I saw such desperation is when Khan was running for City Council and they put his name with all Black persons with the caption “Birds Of A Feather”.

    If the Democrats were playing by their rules they would mail to all over 65 Republican voters, the message that McConnell is going after their Social Security and Medicare. They won’t vote for Democrats but some will stay home.

  2. Manny Barrera says:

    by their rules means how Republicans play the game

  3. asmith says:

    I think the early mail in ballots are skewing the numbers statewide if you’re looking at the voter models like targetsmart. That’s a 65+ group which is heavily R. Targetsmart has it at R+12 in terms of who has voted through 10/23, but it was R+20 at this time in 2014.The urban counties are coming in strong, but so are Tarrant, the suburban counties, and the rural/small metros. We will have a better picture after super sunday.

    It’s a turnout game now. That R+12 number will continue to go down.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    Since we are all throwing out predictions in, here’s mine. The increased voter numbers are going to more or less mirror the normal R-D percentages, although a slight skew towards the R’s.

    Cruz wins, but by less than Abbott, Culberson wins by something in the middle of those two numbers.

    No prediction on Ag Commissioner or AG.

  5. Smokey545 says:

    I did a detailed spreadsheet by Texas county of those number of early voters that the Texas Secretary of State is publishing on their website. For those rural counties not listed on the SOS website I gave 80/20 split to Cruz. Plus used the voter % that Trump and Hillary received county by county for the counties that the SOS.

    The end result shows Beto O’Rourke winning by a close margin of approx. 8,000 votes in the early voting period only.

    Remember Texas is not a deep, deep Red state where Trump won 55 to 65% of the 2016 vote. Trump only won 52% of the Texas vote meaning Beto only needs to gain 2+% of the votes to win.

    For an extreme popular Democrat that Beto has become, that 2% margin should be very easy margin for Beto to close.

    We’ll see how high the voter turnout in rural Red counties and hard Red counties like Williamson.

  6. brad says:

    Wow, what an incredible prediction.

  7. Manny Barrera says:

    asmith – mail ballots high numbers are basically only the first day, and in 2016 they split almost even between R n D.

    In 2014 Cornyn won with about 60%, every other state wide office was pretty close to that. If that trends follows then most other office should be close to whatever Beto gets.

    Here in Harris County, Clinton carried it with 12%, but the Democrat Judges carried it by 5.

    But we have a fairly high percentage of voters that do not normally vote midterms. This is an unusual election. I do know that the Republicans are very worried, that is why they are spending so much on Cruz, he is the top of the ticket and he drags everyone down with him. While Beto raises the blue wave with him.

    I am glad that a PAC came in to do negative ads on him.

  8. Manny Barrera says:

    negative ads on Cruz

  9. Manny Barrera says:

    Asmith went back to look at Harris County – mail ballots were actually higher by the Democrats by about 6%.

    Also, the difference between Clinton and D judges, seems to be more of an under count. I suspect that many Democrats are just voting top of ticket.

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