Early voting continues for the July 14 primary runoff and special elections. Because of the inherent “lumpiness” of runoff elections across the state, meaningfully comparing turnout year-to-year is difficult. On top of that, the early voting period was extended by a week by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters will have 12 days – 11 in some counties who take Sunday off – to cast ballots in person instead of the usual five days. And on top of that, we anticipate a significant increase in absentee voting as many more voters requested ballots by mail than in recent years.

With all those caveats, nearly 123K people voted in the Democratic runoff in the 15 counties with the most registered voters through the first day (Monday), which is more than the Day 1 totals in 2016 and 2018 combined. The number of Democratic early voters is 65% above 2018 and 187% above 2016. These numbers include all mail ballots received up to and including Monday. Statewide Democratic turnout through Monday was 1% of registered voters. Three quarters of all votes cast through Monday by Democrats were by mail.

Around 53K Republicans cast ballots in person or by mail in those 15 counties by Monday. This is down slightly from 2018, solely because there are no Republican runoffs in Dallas and Williamson Cos., but 14% above 2016. Statewide Republican turnout through Monday was 0.6% of registered voters. Two thirds of all votes cast through Monday by Republicans were by mail.

CD6: A poll conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee finds U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington) leading Democratic challenger Stephen Daniel, 45%-41%, with 15% undecided. Neither candidate is well known in the district. Three out of five respondents were unsure about Wright’s job performance (21/18), while 85% of respondents had no opinion of Daniel’s favorability (7/8). President Trump’s approval rating in the district is 47/48, and he is tied with presumptive Democratic nominee, 46%-46%, in the district. The poll of 376 “likely 2020 general election voters” was in the field June 24-28 and has a margin of error of ±4.8%.

CD10: U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) endorsed Mike Siegel in the Democratic runoff over Pritesh Gandhi.

CD13 open: The campaign of Ronny Jackson released a new ad, “Battlefields,” criticizing Republican runoff opponent Josh Winegarner and highlighting President Trump’s endorsement.

CD23 open: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) endorsed Raul Reyes Jr. in the Republican runoff over Tony Gonzales II.

Republican Convention: The State Republican Executive Committee will decide at a meeting Thursday whether to go forward with the state convention in person in Houston or to go the online route, as the Texas Democratic Party did.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC