Early voting continues for the November 8 general election.
Just over 1.6M Texans have voted early in person (1.4M) or by mail (200K) through yesterday (Wed.), the third day of the early voting period, according to preliminary numbers reported by counties to the Secretary of State. Just over 9.1% of registered voters (RVs) have already cast ballots.
Turnout – both in terms of number of votes cast and percent of RVs – continues to lag behind the last two even-year general elections. Statewide, the total number of votes cast so far in 2022 is down more than 1M (39%) from two years ago. As a percent of RVs, the 9.1% turnout is down from 15.7% through three days of early voting in 2020. Note: We don’t typically like to compare mid-term election turnout to presidential election turnout, but 2020 is the only other year for which statewide daily data is available.
Looking at the 30 counties with the most RVs, just over 1.2M people have voted early so far, a drop of 23% compared to 2018 and 42% compared to 2020. Looking at the five counties with the most RVs – Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis – the number of voters so far this year is down 22% compared to 2018 and 42% compared to 2020.
Recent primary voters account for 80% of all early votes cast so far, according to Republican strategist and data nerd Derek Ryan. Republican primary voters, including the small percentage who have also voted in a recent Democratic primary but most recently voted Republican, comprise 47% of early voters so far. Democratic primary voters, including the reverse of the small percentage mentioned above, represent 33% of early voters. Based solely on these percentages at solely this moment in time, statewide Democrats would need the support of roughly 90% of all other early voters to be ahead at this moment.
According to Ryan, 3M Republican primary voters and 2.4M Democratic primary have not yet cast ballots. He defines those voters as having participated in at least one of the last four primary elections. Looking at age groups, 22% of RVs aged 70 and older have already voted compared to just 2% of RVs under age 30.
AG (Lean R): Libertarian nominee Mark Ash endorsed Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza in their race against Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) in an op-ed published by the Amarillo Pioneer.
Campaign Finance: Congressional candidates on the November 8 ballot were required to file their pre-general election reports today (Thur.), assuming they have crossed the reporting thresholds. These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made October 1-19.
Over the 19-day period, candidates reported raising $4.7M and spending $8.0M. Both figures are significantly lower than the same period in 2020. Excluding the U.S. Senate race, congressional candidates two years ago raised $8.7M and spent $21.6M.
Candidates in just three races accounted for $1.8M (39%) of contributions and $3.7M (46%) of expenditures:
- CD15 (Lean R): Democrat Michelle Vallejo out-raised Monica De la Cruz-Hernandez, $374K to $337K, but the Republican narrowly outspent her, $521K to $516K. De la Cruz-Hernandez has a $589K to $158K advantage in cash on hand.
- CD28 (Lean D): Republican challenger Cassy Garcia out-raised U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), $331K to $94K, but was outspent by the incumbent, $646K to $526K. Cuellar holds a $278K to $189K advantage in cash on hand.
- CD34 (Lean D): S. Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Los Indios) out-raised U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), $535K to $176K, and outspent him, $966K to $504K. Gonzalez has a $475K to $364K advantage in cash on hand.
U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) raised $302K, nearly $290K more than his Democratic challenger in a Safe R district. Crenshaw has raised $14.8M during this election cycle, nearly $9M more than any congressional candidate on the general election ballot, but still a bit behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R) $17.3M in contributions. Cruz is up for re-election in 2024. Neither fundraising haul has led to big war chests as Crenshaw has spent $14.4M and Cruz has spent $18.6M during this two-year election cycle.
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