Early voting continues through Friday.

Through yesterday (Monday), Day 8, more than 3.35M people have voted in person or by mail in the 30 counties with the most registered voters. In 2014, a total of 3.59M votes were cast in those counties, including Election Day. Ten counties have already seen more voters in eight days than voted in 2014 in the entire early voting period and Election Day.

More than 2.8M people have voted in the 15 counties with the most registered voters, just 160K fewer than at this point in 2016. Dallas and Williamson Cos. are ahead of their 2016 pace. Monday’s single day turnout exceeded the same Monday in 2016 in Bexar, Collin (by 7 voters), Dallas, Fort Bend and Travis Cos. Single-day turnout has nearly mirrored 2016 each day.

According to Republican political consultant Derek Ryan, voters with no recent primary history have become the second largest bloc of early voters, trailing only Republican primary voters. Through Monday, around 32% of early ballots were cast by voters with just Republican primary history. Nearly 29% were cast by voters with no recent primary history, and 28% were cast by voters with just Democratic primary history.

One quarter of ballots cast so far were from people who voted in 2012 and/or 2016 but not in either recent gubernatorial election.

Just under 10% of ballots have been cast by voters with no recent history in either primary or general elections. That’s already five percentage points higher than for the entire 2014 general election (early and Election Day) but is still 6 points below 2016 (early and Election Day). However, that means more than 90% of ballots have been cast by previous voters. Ryan said nearly 20% of early voters cast their ballots on Election Day in 2014. This seems to confirm that higher early turnout in 2016 is driven more by regular voters casting ballots earlier than by new voters.

In 2014, 46% of all votes were cast on Election Day. Two years later, just 27% of all votes were cast on Election Day. As early voting turnout continues to track the 2016 early vote, it makes it increasingly likely that Election Day turnout will be similarly low relative to early voting. In 2016, previous general election voters with no primary history and voters with no voting history comprised more than 60% of Election Day turnout. Those voters are less likely to be locked in to a particular party and thus more willing to split their tickets.

Most partisans, meanwhile, have already voted. Nearly three quarters of voters who have participated in the last four primaries of a single party have already cast ballots. Nearly two thirds of people participating in three of the last four primaries of one party have already voted, as have nearly three fifths of those participating in two of the last four primaries of one party (and none of the other party).

Early reports about turnout today (Tuesday) indicate it continues to track 2016.

Dixie Strategies Poll: A new CBS-11/Dixie Strategies poll shows widening leads for statewide Republican candidates compared to its September poll:

  • S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) leads U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso), 52%-42%
  • Greg Abbott (R) leads former Dallas Co. Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D), 59%-33%
  • Gov. Dan Patrick (R) leads Mike Collier (D), 51%-40%
  • Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leads Justin Nelson (D), 50%-41%
  • Land Comm. George P. Bush (R) leads Miguel Suazo (D), 52%-36%

In September, the pollsters found Cruz leading by 4 points, Abbott by 19, Patrick by 6 and Paxton by 6. Bush’s lead is unchanged at 16 points.

President Trump is viewed favorably by 56% of respondents and unfavorably by 41%, up from a 51/46 rating in September. Not much other information was provided.

The poll of 588 “likely voters” was in the field October 25-26. Its stated margin of error is ±4.0%.

House Speaker: Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission establishing his candidacy for Speaker.

CD7: The Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D) campaign released a new ad, “For Us,” highlighting people across the political spectrum endorsing her campaign.

CD32: The Colin Allred (D) campaign released a new ad, “New Leadership,” which serves as his closing argument against U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas).

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC