World News – UA – Early voting in Texas surpasses total of all 2016 ballots

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McALLEN, Texas (AP) – Texans have already voted more in the presidential election than during the entire 2016 race – an unprecedented increase in early voting in a state that was once the most Republican reliable country, but which could now drift into battleground status

More than 9 million votes were cast by Friday morning in the nation’s second most populous state, surpassing its 8More than 9 million votes four years ago, according to an Associated Press tally of data from early voting in Texas

Texas first state to cross the line, AP tally says This year’s numbers were aided by Democratic activists challenging in court and winning the right to extend early voting by a week in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic

« You all did your thing, » Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said at a drive-through rally in Fort Worth on Friday « Early voting in Texas, 9 million? » Now we know now is not the time to let the peddling go, right? « 

Voters statewide don’t register by party affiliation, so no one can yet know which side this wave will benefit from Turnout has also been inflated by the booming Texas population More than 169 million Texans registered to vote in 2020, an approximately 18 million increase from 2016, approximately 151 million and more The number of early votes so far represents only about 53% of registered voters in statewide, while about 59% of registered voters voted early and on election day in 2016

Nonetheless, the fact that the state surpassed its entire vote tally for the last presidential cycle with hours to go in an early voting period ending Friday night – and before millions of people voted probably on election day – portends a sea change election

For Democrats, anything different is probably a good thing The party has not won a state office in Texas since 1994 – the country’s longest political losing streak – or seen any of its candidates in the presidency carrying the state since 1976 The party now thinks it has a chance to take over State House, overthrow up to six Congress seats and one Senate seat

President Donald Trump took Texas against Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 9 points, but it was the smallest Republican presidential victory margin since 1996

Texas has the highest share of its registered voters who are new or infrequent voters from any battlefield state, according to Associated Press analysis of data from political data firm L2 About the half of its voters never voted or did so in half or less of the elections to which they were eligible

So far 36% of Texas votes have come from this irregular group of voters This could bode well for keeping Texas Republican since this is precisely the re-election campaign the Trump cohort is trying to do appeal as she seeks to broaden her conservative base

Meanwhile, as Texas is one of the few states to have maintained its already strict rules preventing most residents from using mail-in ballots during the pandemic, some lines at early voting locations in person may indicate that this is the single best way voters can vote before election day, which could inflate the totals even further

Nonetheless, Democrats are hopefully pointing to areas like Harris County, the state’s largest and home to Houston, where they swept every major election of 2018, to claim that the state is becoming quickly bluer About 1 So far, 3 million Harris County voters had voted early, down from less than 980,000 in 2016, and the percentage of registered voters voting early in the county had reached about 58% so far, up from 54 % of total anticipated votes four years ago

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign has been insisting for months that Texas, with its 38 electoral votes, is among the traditionally conservative states it seeks to overthrow – although it has long been more upbeat on Arizona After Fort Worth, Harris visits Houston and the US-Mexican border town of McAllen His arrival just four days before Election Day means using up precious campaign time for the state much later than any great national democrat for decades

Harris is hitting Hidalgo County, which includes McAllen, where the increase in early voter turnout does not match other places, like the suburbs of Dallas and Austin It is part of the Valley of the Rio Grande, the economic powerhouse of the Texas-Mexico border, with a population of approximately 90% Mexican Americans and representing one of the youngest and fastest growing regions of the state

Not having voters there – especially when the rest of the state is breaking records – could cause problems for Biden The region is solidly Democrat, although many of its Latino voters tend to be mildly more conservative than some of their counterparts in other parts of the country

It has also been one of the hardest hit areas in the country by the coronavirus and has seen new cases skyrocket in recent weeks, as is the case in many parts of the country

« They were forced to place bodies in FEMA refrigerated trailers because they ran out of space in morgues and funeral homes, » said Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas and Democratic presidential candidate who was within 3 percentage points of upsetting Republican Sen Ted Cruz in 2018 – and could have done so had he had more Hispanic voters in the Rio Grande Valley

« This part of Texas has witnessed the cruelty of the Trump administration and the incompetence of its leadership, » O’Rourke added

Weissert reported from Washington Associated Press editors Angeliki Kastanis in Los Angeles and Nicholas Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report

Ballot, Advance Voting, United States Presidential Election, 2020

Global News – AU – Texas early voting exceeds total of all 2016 ballots



SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/world-news-ua-early-voting-in-texas-surpasses-total-of-all-2016-ballots/?remotepost=490142

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