This is the second of two analyses that will attempt to prognosticate Tuesday’s general election. Here we focus on individual races. Our previous analysis examined the state’s political climate entering the election.
Borrowing from Monty Python, “That’s no ordinary gubernatorial election.” Early voting much more closely resembled a presidential election, and more early votes were cast than total votes in 2014, including Election Day. So we can toss gubernatorial election year assumptions out the proverbial window. Unfortunately, almost all of the polling done to date was based on turnout assumptions that we just tossed out the window.
Yet, it isn’t a presidential election, either. Turnout resembled the 2016 early turnout but did not match it. Every new voter that cast a ballot in the last two weeks meant one more 2016 early voter did not, and there’s reason to believe that some of those were Democrats. This year, turnout for some blocs critical to Democratic success lags behind key Republican blocs, so far. For example, we dove into precinct-level early voting turnout for SD10 precincts where at least 500 votes had been cast. In precincts where at least 75% of straight-party votes were cast by Republicans in 2016, early voting turnout averages 51% of registered voters. In precincts that were at least 75% Democratic, turnout averages 30%.
The challenge is trying to model how much this election will behave like a presidential election and how much it will behave like a gubernatorial election. The other challenge is trying to figure out what we don’t know, which is, of course, more that we would like to admit. We have run the numbers and made the most educated assumptions and decisions we can, but our predictions are best thought of as a preseason Top 25. They have to play the games before you know how right, and how wrong, those predictions were.
Summary of Predictions
We predict the following outcomes:
- Republicans sweep the statewide races, including the U.S. Senate race, which we project U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) will win by 5 points, and the governor’s race, which we project Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will win by 17 points
- The average statewide Democratic candidate will receive 44.4% head-to-head against the average statewide Republican candidate
- HD47 (Workman), HD105 (R. Anderson), HD114 open, HD115 (Rinaldi), HD136 (Dale) and CD7 (Culberson) will flip to Democrat from Republican
- No Democratic seats will flip to Republican; and
- Every other seat will remain in the hands of the party who currently holds it.
That said, if the vote breaks the right way in the right places, we would not be surprised to see one or more of SD16, open HD52, HD108, open HD113, HD134, CD23 or CD32 flip to the Democrats.
Subscribers can read the rest of this analysis.
©2018 Texas Election Source LLC