Early voting for the March 3 primary election continues through February 28.

Turnout continues to be brisk for a primary election but dwarfed by a general election. Through Saturday, Republican turnout in the 15 counties with the most registered voters remains at a record pace, running 6% ahead of the 2016 pace. It will likely fall behind the record pace for the first week because last Monday was a holiday, meaning the first week of early voting had just six days.

Democratic turnout in those counties is lagging farther behind the record pace set in 2008, but it remains the second-highest volume in the Top 15 counties for a Democratic primary. It is, however, 55% ahead of the 2016 pace.

The number of Democratic early voters in those counties leads the number of Republicans, 254K to 215K.

Our numbers do not match the Secretary of State’s reported numbers for Harris Co. We believe Harris Co. has not been reporting the ballot-by-mail voters to the Secretary of State since Day Two of early voting. We have been using the early voting statistics posted (PDF) on the county’s website for that county and using the Secretary of State’s data for the rest.

Campaign Finance: State candidates with primary opponents are required to file their 8-day-out reports tomorrow (Monday). These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between January 24 and February 22. We expect these reports to be made available online on Tuesday, and we will update our Crib Sheets and analyze key race data during the day.

Contributions received after February 22 and before March 2 must be disclosed in daily pre-election reports, formerly known as telegram reports.

CD28: No Texas data here, but an interesting tidbit from Nevada that could have implications for the race between U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros. According to a UCLA analysis of precinct-level caucus results data, Bernie Sanders won 74% of the final alignment votes in 33 majority-Latino precincts. We recently mused:

“In 2016, Bernie Sanders received 25% of the vote head-to-head against Hillary Clinton in CD28. Cisneros would need around one third of the Clinton voters to choose the progressive candidate to oust Cuellar.”

She would not need such a big share of Clinton voters if Sanders performs well in the district. Sanders got more than enough of the vote in Nevada’s majority-Hispanic/Latino precincts to give Cisneros the advantage over Cuellar, but Nevada is not South Texas. He vastly out-performed the other Democratic candidates with that ethnic group, according to entrance polls. The most recent Univ. of Texas/Texas Tribune poll showed Sanders leading the field with 31% support among Hispanic/Latino voters, followed by Joe Biden (24%), Michael Bloomberg (10%) and Elizabeth Warren (9%).

A strong Sanders performance among Hispanic/Latino voters could boost Cisneros if that strength stretched out of the big cities.

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