Early voting in person continues across Texas, and turnout continues to be at a record-shattering pace. Just over 1.4M had cast ballots in person and by mail in the 15 counties with the most registered voters through Wednesday, and turnout was steady in the counties from which we received reports on Thursday.

However, it is too early to conclude whether this early momentum can sustain itself, result in record overall turnout or change the electoral course the state has been on for more than two decades.

One can in fact see just about whatever pattern one is looking for in consistently higher numbers. Democratic activists believe increased turnout is a sign of a blue wave of voters that make the state a battleground, now and in the future. Republican activists see the increased turnout as voters angry with President Obama and the course of the nation turning out to vote down Hillary Clinton.

Partisans and analysts have espoused various reasons for record-smashing turnout through a handful of days of early voting, but the explanation may be far simpler and less transformative. Voters who would normally vote in a presidential general election may just be voting earlier than usual, and they’re being joined by new voters in numbers proportional to the number of first-time voter registrations.

Subscribers can read the rest of this analysis.