February 21, 2020

Democratic Early Vote Soars in Major Texas Counties
while GOP Count Drops in Dallas, Tarrant and Collin

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor

Tarrant County Republicans didn't seem to get the memo when U.S. Senator John Cornyn traveled there on Wednesday to kick off an early voting blitz for the Texas primary election.

Despite Cornyn's declaration of Fort Worth as ground zero in 2020 for Texas Republicans, early GOP voting took a 13 percent dip in Tarrant County during the first two days for ballot casting compared to the last presidential election in 2016. But the bad news for the Texas ruling party faithful gets worse when considering that the Democratic early vote in Tarrant County jumped 25 percent in the same span of time this week.

The cumulative number of Republicans who voted early on Tuesday and Wednesday in the 10 Texas counties with the largest populations increased 12 percent compared to four years ago. That's nothing to brag about, however, in a state where Democratic early voting in the 10 biggest Texas counties vaulted 58 percent in the combined count of ballots that were cast at the polls or in the mail in the first two days of the primary election here.

More than 102,000 Texans voted early in the Democratic primary in the 10 largest counties on day one and two of the first-round election when less than 76,000 ballots were cast across the aisle in those same major population centers.

The early voting surge for the Democrats here could spell trouble for the GOP in November in the ultimate must-win state for President Donald Trump. It's no guarantee - by the same token - of a Democratic takeover in the making in the Lone Star State this fall. Democratic turnout in the 2008 Texas primary soared 242 percent before Republican White House nominee John McCain and Cornyn both won here with about 55 percent of the vote in the ticket's top two races. .

But the Democrats still managed to pick up a half-dozen Texas House seats in 2008 in a development that put them with two of a majority and made it possible to determine who the next speaker would be when GOP colleagues were divided. Democrats wrestled a state Senate seat away from the Republicans that year as well.

The early Republican vote in the 2020 primary's first two days was down 16 percent in Dallas County while dropping 6 percent in Collin County compared to the last White House election in 2016 when Trump claimed the job. Democratic early voting in dramatic contrast skyrocketed 101 percent in Collin County and 60 percent in Dallas County in the same time frame when gauged against the primary four years ago.

The early Democratic vote vaulted 68 percent in Harris County where in the first two days of the 2020 primary compared to a 21 percent increase for the GOP. there.

The number of Democratic early votes was up 53 percent in Bexar County compared to a 10 percent boost in the Republican primary. The early Democratic vote in Travis County jumped 48 percent in Travis County in the primary's first two days compared to a meager 2.5 percent hike for the GOP.

The early vote in the first two days in the GOP bastion of Montgomery County soared 112 percent for the Democrats and an almost insignificant 13 percent increase across the aisle.


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