Tuesday is the primary election in Texas. Our live coverage of results and analysis will begin at about 7 p.m. CT and can be found at https://txelects.com/live/.

Friday was a record-setting early voting day for the Democratic primary in the 15 counties with the most registered voters. A record 193K people voted in person or by mail on the last day of early voting, the highest one-day total in state primary history, eclipsing the 2008 mark of 173K. Friday’s voters represented a quarter of all early voters in that party’s primary in those counties. Three of the seven highest and five of the 13 highest, single-day vote totals occurred this year:

  • 193K – 2nd Friday of 2020
  • 173K – 2nd Friday of 2008
  • 152K – 2nd Tuesday of 2008
  • 121K – 2nd Tuesday of 2020
  • 116K – 2nd Thursday of 2008
  • 107K – 2nd Friday of 2012
  • 101K – 2nd Thursday of 2020
  • 100K – 2nd Friday of 2018
  • 90K – 2nd Wednesday of 2008
  • 81K – Saturday of 2008
  • 77K – 2nd Tuesday of 2018
  • 76K – 1st Tuesday of 2020 (1st day of early voting period)
  • 75K – 2nd Wednesday of 2020

Friday’s Democratic vote total eclipsed the record one-day vote for either party, set by the Republicans on the 2nd Friday of 2016 (174K).

Overall, 770K people voted in the Democratic primary in the 11-day early voting period, an increase of 72% over 2016 and 247% over 2012. It fell 13% short of the 2008 record of 890K.

Friday’s Republican turnout (98K) in the 15 counties with the most registered voters was the second highest in its primary history, just edging out the 2nd Thursday of 2016 by a little over 100 votes.

Turning to the state’s 30 top counties, Republican strategist and data nerd Derek Ryan’s final early voting report (PDF) indicated that 219K people under 40 voted in the Democratic primary and 58K people under 50 voted in the Republican primary. More than 300K people with no recent (2012-2018) Democratic primary history voted in this year’s Democratic primary (Ryan said that some of them voted in the 2008 primary.) and 123K people with no recent Republican primary history voted in this year’s Republican primary.

Statewide, Republican early turnout was just shy of 1.1M, comprising 6.7% of registered voters. Statewide Democratic early turnout was just over 1M, comprising 6.2% of registered voters. The combined 12.9% turnout ties 2016 but trails the combined 14.5% from 2008.

At least 1M Texans will participate in each party’s primary for just the fifth time in state history (1988, 2008, 2016 and 2018). It is the seventh consecutive primary election to see at least 1M Republican voters and the third straight Democratic primary and 33rd overall with at least 1M voters.

Assuming recent primary trends hold and Election Day voters outnumber early voters, 2020 could become the first time in state history with at least 2M voters in each party’s primary election. The all-time high for votes cast in both primaries combined is 4.27M set in 2016.

PRES/SEN Polls: A trio of polls released today (Sunday) show Bernie Sanders receiving the support of roughly a third of likely Democratic primary voters with a fair amount of volatility from second to fourth place.

  • Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler: Sanders 29%, Bloomberg 21%, Biden 19%, Warren 10%, Buttigieg 8%, Klobuchar 4% (February 17-26 poll of 586 likely Democratic primary voters, ±4.1% MOE)
  • CBS News/YouGov: Sanders 30%, Biden 26%, Warren 13%, Bloomberg 13%, Buttigieg 6%, Klobuchar 6% (February 27-29 poll of unclear number of likely Democratic primary voters, ±6.2% MOE)
  • NBC News/Marist Univ. (PDF): Sanders 34%, Biden 19%, Bloomberg 15%, Warren 10%, Buttigieg 8%, Klobuchar 3% (February 23-27 poll of 556 likely Democratic primary voters, ±5.3% MOE)

Buttigieg dropped out of the race this evening, less than two hours before a scheduled rally in Dallas was to occur.

Sanders’s support among Hispanic/Latino voters was 42% in both the DMN/UT-Tyler and CBS/YouGov polls.

Two of the polls also found M.J. Hegar leading the Democratic field by 7-8 points among people who had a preference and a close logjam for second place:

  • DMN/UT-Tyler: Hegar 15%, Tzintzún Ramirez 7%, West 7%, Bell7%, Edwards 4%, Garcia 4%, Hernandez 4%, Cooper 3%, “Not sure” 46%
  • NBC/Marist: Hegar 16%, Tzintzún Ramirez 9%, West 8%, Garcia 7%, Hernandez 5%, Edwards 5%, Bell 5%, Cooper 4%, Undecided 34%

“Not sure” was the response of 46% of likely voters in the DMN/UT-Tyler poll, and 34% of respondents in the NBC/Marist poll were “undecided.”

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