The Chron’s Mike Snyder ventures outside Harris County for early voting numbers.
As the Chronicle’s Jeremy Wallace reported, nearly 50,000 people voted in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, the first day of early voting, in the state’s 15 most populous counties. That’s more than twice the total from the first early voting day in 2014, the last midterm election.Despite the Democrats’ improved turnout, however, Republican numbers were greater. Through Wednesday, 14,493 people had voted in the Republican primaries compared to 12,627 in the Democratic primary in Harris County, Wallace reported.
The Republican primaries also drew more voters in the two other Houston-area counties that rank among the 15 most populous in the state.
In Montgomery County, 8,364 early votes had been cast through Thursday in the Republican primary, compared to 1,437 in the Democratic primary.
This is true, but it’s also not the whole story. Let’s go back to the SOS early voting page for a little context.
Party County 2010 2014 2018 ========================================== Rep Montgomery 3,851 6,944 8,364 Dem Montgomery 383 393 1,437 Rep Montgomery 1.58% 2.57% 2.61% Dem Montgomery 0.16% 0.15% 0.45% Rep Fort Bend 3,486 3,755 4,878 Dem Fort Bend 871 921 3,403 Rep Fort Bend 1.16% 1.07% 1.18% Dem Fort Bend 0.29% 0.26% 0.82%
Democratic turnout is up by a lot more in Fort Bend than Republican turnout is. Democratic turnout isn’t up as much in Montgomery County as Republican turnout is, but relatively speaking it’s up by a lot more. Another way of saying this is that as a share of registered voters, which is what those percentages represent, Republicans are up a pinch from 2014, while Dems are at triple their levels from 2014. I submit that’s a notable development.
So what about Harris County? Well, here you go:
Year Party Mail In Person Total ======================================= 2010 Dem 4,129 8,229 12,358 2010 Rep 8,498 12,571 21,069 2014 Dem 3,592 5,949 9,541 2014 Rep 12,288 13,901 26,189 2018 Dem 8,844 16,110 24,954 2018 Rep 12,530 16,053 28,583
Dems had 5,214 people show up yesterday, which as you can see is only a bit less than their entire four-day total from 2014. Republicans had a few more than that and have nearly closed the in-person gap, but it’s the increase from previous years that is the real story. And while Dems still haven’t done as good a job returning their mail ballots, the 8,844 they have returned is more than the entire number of returned mail ballots in every primary before 2016, and should be on track to beat that year’s total. The news continues to be good. Let’s keep it going.