Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Ahead of Texas primary, early signs of a 2018 Democratic surge

Ahead of Texas primary, early signs of a 2018 Democratic surge

Democratic early voting across Texas' 15 most-populous counties, the only figures available, more than doubled that of the last non-presidential cycle in 2014. Will Hurd's expansive border district that runs from San Antonio to El Paso, all voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016. No Democrat has represented the Lone Star State in the Senate since 1993, but O'Rourke believes he can beat the odds, in part by campaigning aggressively in every part of this sprawling state. On Monday, the president said that he didn't think there would be a trade war if he goes ahead with steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, but a few days earlier he tweeted that "trade wars are good, and easy to win".

The rising Democratic enthusiasm mirrors what the party has already seen across the country in the almost year and a half since President Trump was elected - more than three dozen state legislature seats changing hands, important wins in Virginiaand New Jerseylast year and mobilization through rallies and protests. The primary runoff elections will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

For both Republicans and Democrats running in Texas primaries, it's important to remember that if no one earns over 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election is triggered between the top two vote-getters.

But Democrat Bonnie Kobilansky says she's alarmed by Trump's actions. Numerous open seats feature so many candidates from both parties that most primary races won't have anyone winning a majority of Tuesday's votes, ensuring a second round of voting May 22.

There's been a downside to the Democrats' surge of candidates in some places, however. The results from the Texas Secretary of State website are showing a significant enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters.

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is up for his first re-election campaign as a member of the United States Senate, and he's facing a handful of primary challengers.

Now, O'Rourke is outraising Cruz, while Trump could become a liability for the Republican.

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The significance of that influence could be clear after Tuesday's primaries in the traditionally Republican state where Democrats haven't won a statewide race in more than two decades - and where they're not favored to flip any of six congressional seats opened up by GOP retirements on Capitol Hill.

"You have a Florida House that is not reflective of the state's electorate", Rep. Smith said.

Meredith Kelly, a party spokeswoman, explained the move saying the committee wants to "ensure that there's a competitive Democrat on the ballot" in November, the implication being that Culberson and Republicans would use the same material to make Moser unelectable.

While Texas gets an early start, primaries will continue all the way through September.

Channel 6 reached out to Melinda Luedecke, Bell County Elections Administrator on her thoughts about the high turnout in 2018.

Voters who do not have any of those documents and cannot "reasonably obtain" them can still cast a vote if they sign a form in which they swear that they have a "reasonable impediment" to obtaining appropriate identification. That number is higher than any gubernatorial election year in the past 12 years at least. As Lira drew no opponents, he will face the victor of the March 6 Primary and likely run-off election in the November General Election.

"There is a reason to be concerned, for sure", said Matt Mackowiack, a veteran Republican operative in Austin.

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