Voting early and often
3.6 million voters in Texas' 15 largest counties have already cast ballots. This exceeds the number of early ballots cast in 2008, another historic election. The radio this morning told me over 1 million voters were expected to vote in Harris County alone by the close of early voting tonight, and with another 500,000 expected to vote Tuesday. This shatters the record of 1.2 million total votes in Harris County, set in 2012.
Of course, the conventional wisdom is that high voter turnout generally favors Democrats. Not so true in Texas. I even heard an analysis that primary voters tend to vote early, and less committed voters turn up on election day; but I really don't think 2/3rds of the electorate are so devoted to the process they are turning out in record numbers this year. Something else is driving the turnout, and it isn't enthusiasm for Donald Trump.
And then I check the Texas Tribune, and find these two stories:
Party leaders' rhetoric leaves Texas Republican women reeling.
(Party leaders there refers to state GOP officials, not just Trump)
The Brief: Texas Republican women feel alienated from their party
(in case you doubt this is an important story)
I'm not really concerned with the polling anymore; by and large, at least in Texas, it's too late for that.
Analysts say Republicans who are turned off by Trump may delay voting or sit out entirely, while the large Democratic turnout might be both due to voters resolutely opposed to Trump and excited over supporting the first female president.That's my personal opinion on what's driving turnout. If Republians aren't enthusiastic for Trump, a lot of newly registered voters are most likely determined to keep him out of the White House. That, and they're doing what they can to end this election season as soon as possible. These endless campaigns are really starting to wear on everybody, even a political junkie like me.
Now I'm just waiting for the election results.
Addendum: TPM notes this about other states and early voting:
On the call, Gabriel Sanchez, a principal at Latino Decisions, pointed to early voting trends that show Latino early voting is up 100 percent in Florida, 60 percent in North Carolina and up 25 percent in Colorado and Nevada.
I really don't think anyone can argue those voters are excited about voting for Donald Trump.