Early voting in person has concluded. Ballots by mail that arrive after today (Friday) are also included as early votes, so the final totals will be higher than any reported prior to Election Day.
Through yesterday (Thursday), the 10th day of early voting, turnout in the 15 counties with the most registered voters was second highest in state history for both parties. Just over 423K Republicans had voted early, which is 12% behind the 2016 record but 78% ahead of 2012. Nearly 571K Democrats had voted early, 67% ahead of 2016 but 20% below the record-setting pace of 2008.
Statewide, Republican turnout is 5.4% of registered voters, and Democratic turnout is 4.7%.
Voters under 40 comprised nearly 24% of the Democratic primary vote in the 30 counties with the most registered voters, according to the most recent analysis (PDF) by Republican strategist and data nerd Derek Ryan. In the Republican primary, voters under 40 comprised just shy of 8% of the vote. Looking just at voters under 30, their share of the Democratic vote is 12% compared to 3% of the Republican vote.
We extrapolated Derek’s numbers to get a sense of how those age groups split themselves among the parties. We calculated that 78% of voters under 40 who have voted early in those 30 counties chose the Democratic primary. Looking at voters under 30, nearly 60K more have voted in the Democratic primary than in the Republican primary. We estimate that 56% of voters aged 40-59 and 46% of voters aged 60 and older voted in the Democratic primary.
Of course, the rest of the state is a different story. While we do not have age splits for the state’s other 224 counties, we know that more than three quarters of all votes were cast in the Republican primary.
HD59: Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) endorsed primary challenger Shelby Slawson over Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville). Fallon’s campaign is the majority contributor to the North Texas PAC for Trust, Honesty and Integrity, which was Slawson’s largest contributor during the most recent campaign finance period.
CD4: President Trump has nominated U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Heath) to be the new Director of National Intelligence. Trump previously nominated Ratcliffe for the post, but the nominee withdrew his name from consideration shortly thereafter. If he were confirmed, a special election would be needed to fill his unexpired term and a new Republican nominee for the general election would need to be chosen. Ratcliffe is unopposed in the primary.
PRES: A pair of new polls suggest Mike Bloomberg has drawn even with Joe Biden for second place while Bernie Sanders is a few points ahead of them.
The Univision/Univ. of Houston (U/UH) poll (PDF) has Sanders at 26% followed by Biden and Bloomberg at 20% each. Elizabeth Warren is fourth at 11%, and Pete Buttigieg is at 6% and the only other candidate polling above 2%. The CNN/SSRS (CNN) poll (PDF) has Sanders leading with 29% of likely Democratic primary voters, followed by Biden (20%), Bloomberg (18%), Warren (15%) and Buttigieg (8%). No other candidate polls above 3%.
The U/UH poll shows Sanders faring best among Hispanics/Latinos (31%), voters under 30 (42%) and voters aged 30-49 (30%). Biden fares best among African Americans (29%). Bloomberg has the second-highest support among Hispanics/Latinos (23%) behind Sanders and third-highest among African Americans (23%) behind Biden and Sanders (26%). Bloomberg trails the other four main candidates among Anglos. He has the second-highest support of voters over 50 (24%), trailing Biden (26%).
The CNN poll has similar findings, though it classifies voters into Anglo and non-Anglo cadres. Sanders leads among both, drawing 26% support from Anglos and 32% from non-Anglos. Warren (20%) and Bloomberg (19%) are the next highest supported candidates among Anglos. Biden (27%) and Bloomberg (18%) are the next highest supported candidates among non-Anglos. Sanders is the runaway top choice of Voters under 50 (40%) followed by Warren (22%). Voters 65 and older favor Bloomberg (34%) and Biden (29%).
Both polls find self-identified independents intending to vote in the Democratic primary to favor Sanders and Bloomberg. U/UH has Sanders at 33% and Bloomberg at 21% among independents, and CNN has Sanders at 32% support and Bloomberg at 21%.
Both polls presented all respondents with the horse race options of President Trump versus each of the Democratic candidates individually. Most show Trump narrowly winning or within a point of the Democrat with all candidates under 50%. The U/UH poll tends to give Trump larger margins than the CNN poll. In the U/UH poll, about a quarter of independents are undecided, and those who weren’t undecided tended to support the Democrat by 6-17 points.
More interesting that the actual horse race numbers – It’s frankly too early for those to matter one iota. – is the gender gap on the presidential race generally. In the generic ballot, Trump leads among men, 49%-43%, and “the Democrat” leads among women, 48%-41%. Slightly more women (11%) are undecided than men (8%). In the horse races, women shift slightly toward Trump, and no Democrat gets the percentage among women than the generic Democrat. Sanders comes closest at 47%. Interestingly, Warren only gets 41% and Amy Klobucher gets 42%.
SEN: That U/UH poll shows M.J. Hegar leading the Democratic field at 20%, followed by Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez and Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) tied at 10%. Former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell (D-Houston) is at 8%, tied with Michael Cooper (8%), and is followed by former Houston council member Amanda Edwards (6%), Annie Garcia (6%) and Sema Hernandez (5%). More likely voters indicated they would vote for “other” or said they “don’t know” than would for any single candidate.
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