Texas Democrats were hoping for a “blue wave” Tuesday night; instead, voters from both parties raced to the polls — and the minority party in the state fell short of the GOP in the vote tally once again.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday, Democrats had cast a little more than 1 million votes. Republicans, on the other hand, accounted for 1.5 million votes. Of those, nearly 700,000 came on Election Day, reports the Texas Tribune.
If you looked at early voting numbers, you might have thought Democrats had an edge. More than 650,000 people voted early in the 10 counties with the most registered voters. More than 370,000 of those were Democrats, compared to nearly 283,000 Republicans.
Republicans say the results in this week’s primary in Texas raise serious doubts about the blue wave that Democrats are counting in the November midterm elections.
When you consider Democrats actually had another 400,000 show up for primaries in 2016 than did in 2018, you can see the GOP’s reason for optimism.
While Democratic turnout was high, so was GOP turnout on Tuesday, giving the party confidence that its troops have not been demoralized.
“We kept hearing about this unprecedented Democrat turnout in Texas and the Republicans showed up in droves yesterday,” said RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.
The primaries — the first in the nation ahead of November’s general election — set up a number of fascinating races.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, easily won his primary, capturing 1.3 million of the 1.5 million votes cast. That’s double the number of votes won in the Democratic primary by Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who will be his opponent.
Mr. Cruz said the results puncture “the narrative that a lot of folks in the media want to tell.”
The general consensus is Mr. O’Rourke is fighting an uphill battle, along with the other Democrats running for statewide office in Texas. Still Mr. Cruz said he isn’t taking anything for granted.
“There is no doubt right now the extreme left is energized. They are angry. They hate the president,” Mr. Cruz said. “We are seeing that in the fundraising numbers for Democrats all across the country. We are seeing that in turnout.”
More than 1 million Democrats voted in the primary, or double the turnout from the last two Democratic Senate primaries in 2012 and 2014. It’s the first time they’ve surpassed the 1 million mark since 2002.
Democrats believe they have a chance to flip the seats currently held by Reps. Pete Sessions, Will Hurd and John Culberson come November.
But Tuesday also exposed the ongoing divide between Democrats’ more moderate and liberal voices — divisions that dominated the party’s 2016 presidential primary.
“Their base is demanding ideological purity and they are forcing these candidates farther to the left to adopt positions like single payer health care that just aren’t tenable with a broader electorate, particularly in Texas,” said Jesse Hunt, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 8th, 2018