Democrats show strong lead in Travis County primary voter turnout
AUSTIN, Texas —
Over 60,000 voters turned out for Democrats during early voting compared to around 21,000 for Republicans. During the last non-presidential primary election early voting, only 23,000 voters turned out for Democrats compared to 18,000 voters turning out for Republicans.
The number of registered voters this primary increased by 18 percent from the 2014 primary.
We asked Republican Strategist Brendan Steinhauser why he thinks more Democrats are turning out to vote than Republicans so far this primary election.
"When you're in the opposition you tend to be more motivated. You tend to raise money and have more candidates come out in opposition to the president and to those who are in power,” Steinhauser said.
Democratic strategist Manny Garcia echoed that point, adding that Texans are fed up with Republican leadership both statewide and nationally.
"What we have seen is Donald Trump has really tanked the republican brand and people like Governor Abbott, Dan Patrick, Ted Cruz. There's just no connection between them and Texans,” Garcia said.
Steinhauser says Republican candidates will have to keep a watchful eye on independents as the general election nears and make a critical decision about whether or not they need to distance themselves from Pres. Trump.
"I think as it starts to get into focus, you'll see Republicans have to figure out whether they think this president is helpful or a hindrance in these elections,” Steinhauser said.
As far as Texas turning blue goes, Steinhauser doesn’t see that happening this election year but says that could change after the next two to three elections as the Republican voter base changes.
"The traditional Republican base will not be the majority in this state in the next 6-10 years, so I think that's why we need to double our efforts this year, to get the ball rolling so that we actually start to appeal to those voters," Steinhauser said.
Polls for the Texas Primary election open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.