The Texas Democratic Party announced a new $1.7M voter registration program, Project Texas, which aims to register 2M voters, which would be just about everyone who is eligible but not registered.

The Democratic Party’s announcement included an estimate of 3M eligible Texans who were not registered, of which 2M “are likely to vote Democratic.” The party said more than half of these targeted non-registrants were Hispanic/Latino, about one in five are Black Texans and about a quarter are 25 years old or younger.

Our calculations, which are based on the U.S. Election Project’s estimate of the voting-eligible population, indicated that 1.87M Texans could have registered to vote for the 2020 general election but did not do so. The number of eligible unregistered Texans peaked has fallen in each election cycle since it peaked in 2014.

Click here to download the chart.

There is an even larger group of Texans whose impact on future elections could be even greater: registered voters who do not vote. More than 5.6M registered voters did not go to the polls in 2020, and the number of non-voting registrants has exceeded 5M in each of the past 12 even-year general elections.

According to Republican strategist and data nerd Derek Ryan, more than 900K Texans who registered to vote after the 2018 general election did not vote in the 2020 general election. He found that 63% of registered voters who had not voted in any of the last four even-year general or primary elections remained on the sidelines (Ryan’s post-election analysis is available here.).

It’s a vivid reminder that registering people to vote does not make them voters.

CD6 special: A poll (PDF) commissioned by the Susan Wright (R) campaign shows her leading Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie), 49%-34%, for the July 27 runoff election. Wright leads, 66%-27%, among self-identified Republicans.

Ellzey leads among self-identified Democrats, 49%-18%, a finding likely to be employed in Wright’s fundraising efforts. The poll memo expects, as do we, that Democratic voters will turn out in significantly smaller numbers than in the May 1 special election because none of the Democratic candidates advanced to the runoff.  The poll finds that 7% of Democrats rate their enthusiasm in voting as a 10 (presumably on a 0- or 1-10 scale) compared to 43% of Republicans.

Wright, who was endorsed by President Trump days before the May 1 election, leads Ellzey, 61%-28%, among respondents with a “favorable impression of Trump.”

The poll of 400 “runoff voters” selected out of the universe of May 1 voters was in the field June 1-3 and conducted via landline and mobile phones. No margin of error was provided, but a sample size of 400 typically produces a margin of error of around ±5.0%.

SD4: Dismissing speculation that he might run for open CD8, Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) tweeted that he is not interested in leaving Texas and, presumably, wants to remain in the Senate. Creighton has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for Land Commissioner.

SD24 open: Lakeway attorney Aaron Reitz said he was considering running to succeed Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway), who is running for Land Commissioner. Reitz came in fourth in a five-way Republican primary for HD47 in 2020 (15%). Former Austin council member Ellen Troxclair Is also considering the race, and surely others are as well.

Tarrant Co.: County Judge Glen Whitley (R) announced he would not seek re-election. He was first elected to the post in 2006.

Tim O’Hare (R), a former mayor of Farmers Branch and a former Tarrant Co. Republican Party chair, has previously announced for the race and unveiled a list of early endorsements. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price is reportedly considering the race. In a statement, she said she would make an announcement “later this week.” Her term ends next week when Mayor-elect Mattie Parker is sworn into office.

Online Ballot Tracker: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law House Bill 1382 by Rep. John Bucy (D-Cedar Park) to provide absentee voters the ability to track their ballot. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), was one of the few election-related measures that had bipartisan support.

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