Early voting continues through Friday for the March 3 primary election. Through yesterday (Tuesday), the eighth day of early voting, more than 400K people have voted in the Democratic primary and 320K people have voted in the Republican primary in the 15 counties with the most registered voters. The Republican pace remains record-setting, barely eclipsing the 318K votes cast early by this point in 2016.

For Democrats, it is only the second time in history that at least 400K people have voted in these counties during the first eight days, joining 2008 (512K). In 2016 and 2018, it took 11 days of early voting to reach at least 400K voters. Democratic turnout is 65% ahead of 2016 and 221% ahead of 2012.

In the 15 counties with the most registered voters, 56% of all votes cast so far have been in the Democratic primary. In the rest of the state, 71% of all votes cast have been in the Republican primary, and more people have voted in the Republican primary in the other 239 counties than in the top 15. Three quarters of all Democratic voters have cast ballots in the top 15 counties.

In the 30 largest counties in the state, voters under 40 comprise 23% of the Democratic early vote and 7% of the early Republican vote, according to the latest analysis (PDF) by Republican strategist and data nerd Derek Ryan. Voters 70 and older make up 27% of the Democratic vote and 39% of the Republican early vote.

Voters in their teens and 20s have cast one out of every nine votes in the Democratic primary in those counties so far, compared to one out of every 34 votes in the Republican primary.

Looking at some preliminary numbers for today (Wednesday), Democratic turnout in Harris Co. was the largest since Day One and, by far, the largest single-day in-person turnout (nearly 12K). Nearly 10K voted in person yesterday (Tuesday), and no other day has seen in-person turnout above 8K. Republicans have also had two consecutive days with the highest in-person turnout, both just over 8K voters.

Likewise, in Tarrant, Travis and Denton Cos., both parties have seen their two highest in-person totals the last two days.

CD2: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner endorsed Sima Ladjevardian for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston).

CD22 open: Kathaleen Wall’s has contributed $4M to her campaign so far this election cycle after a $210K contribution reported today (Wednesday). She contributed $6.2M to her unsuccessful 2018 campaign for open CD2. Wall had spent $3.2M on her CD22 race as of February 12, suggesting another three quarters of a million has been spent since. The rest of the 15-candidate Republican field had spent $1.5M as of that date.

PRES: A new Public Policy Polling survey of Democratic primary voters finds Joe Biden (24%) and Bernie Sander (24%) tied for first, followed by Mike Bloomberg (17%), Elizabeth Warren (14%), Pete Buttigieg (10%) and Amy Klobuchar (4%). The survey of 1,045 likely primary Democratic voters was conducted for Progress Texas. It was in the field February 24-25 and did not state a margin of error.

Electoral College Suit: The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s “winner take all” awarding of electoral votes in presidential elections. “Any disadvantage [plaintiffs] allege is solely a consequence of their lack of electoral success,” wrote the Court in a brief ruling. “Democratic elections necessarily result in winners and losers. The frustration of losing, however, does not violate the Constitution.”

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