Early voting turnout has officially surpassed total early turnout in 2014. Through the first five days of early voting, 2.43M people have voted in person and by mail in the 30 counties with the most registered voters. A little over 2.55M people voted during the entire early voting period in 2014 statewide. Just 120K people would have to have voted early in the remaining 224 counties to reach that total 2014 mark, which is incredibly likely.

Texas is not alone. Turnout in Delaware, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada and Tennessee also exceeds the entire 2014 early turnout, according to Michael McDonald, a Univ. of Florida professor behind the United States Election Project, which tracks turnout and voter participation nationwide. Georgia and North Carolina are close to eclipsing their 2014 early turnout, and early voting is generally brisk in other states in which the early voting period is underway.

In the 15 Texas counties with the most registered voters, 364K voted in person and by mail on Friday, an increase of just under 20K over the last two days. Turnout gained ground on 2016 relative to the past few days but remains behind it. Early voting turnout otherwise remains higher than for any other general election in state history.

Just over 2M have voted through the first five days, 254K more than during the same periods of 2006, 2010 and 2014 combined, but more than 150K behind 2016. Every county in the Top 15, and many others, have turnout in excess of the entire 2014 early voting period.

Today (Saturday) was Day 6. Some highlights:

  • In Harris Co., nearly 80K voted in person today, the highest daily total for the week so far. Overall, 469K have voted in person and by mail during the first six days of early voting, corresponding to 20% of registered voters. Just 33% of the county’s registered voters cast ballots in the 2014 general election, including Election Day.
  • In Tarrant Co., nearly 39K voted in person today, about the same number as Friday. Overall, 260K have voted in person and by mail. The county breaks out in-person turnout by district. HD98, where Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) is seeking re-election, has had nearly 37K in-person early voters, more than 11K above any other House district.
  • In Bexar Co., just over 31K voted in person today, a little below the average for the previous five days.
  • In Montgomery Co., over 11K voted in person today, which is right about the average for the week so far. Overall, 80K have voted in person or by mail through six days of early voting. A total of 105K votes were cast in the county in 2014, including Election Day.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is historically the lowest turnout day by far of any day during the early voting period. Many counties reduce hours and polling locations. Smaller counties, many of which have a single polling place in a government office, do not offer early voting on Sunday.

GOV: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorsed Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

SEN: The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorsed U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R).

CD7: A New York Times/Siena Coll. poll finds U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston) leading Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, 46%-45%, with 9% undecided. The poll shows respondents evenly divided on President Trump’s job performance (47/48) and slightly leaning toward U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), 49%-47%. Yet, a slight plurality wants to keep the U.S. House on Republican hands, 49%-45%.

Unlike many other polls we’ve seen this year, there is not a large gender gap in this poll. Women prefer Fletcher, 46%-43%, and men prefer Culberson, 48%-44%.

A month ago, the pollsters found Culberson leading, 48%-45%. There was a wider gender gap then. Women preferred Fletcher, 49%-43%, and men preferred Culberson, 55%-40%.

The poll of 499 adults (346 mobile, 153 landline) was in the field October 19-25. The stated margin of error is ±4.6%.

Mission: A judge’s decision voiding the June runoff election has been suspended by the judge issuing it while it is appealed. The 13th Court of Appeals ordered the appeal be expedited. Earlier this month, visiting Judge Bonner Dorsey found clear and convincing evidence that at least 158 illegal votes were cast in the runoff, which won by current Mayor Armando O’Caña over former Mayor Beto Salinas by 157 votes.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC