Texas has been a hotbed for the 2018 midterm elections, and for a good reason.
Should Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke win against incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz, it would demoralize Republicans, and prove that even in the time of Trump, strongholds on the right can be taken down with enough media attention, and enough money.
According to The Hill, Texans have been turning out in numbers that absolutely dwarf 2014’s midterm elections:
According to The Texas Tribune, several of the state’s largest counties saw a stronger turnout at the polls on Monday than on the first day of early voting in the 2014 midterms.
Dallas County reportedly saw a combined 55,384 votes on Monday, a jump from the nearly 26,000 votes that were cast on the first day in 2014.
The San Antonio Express News reported that more than 24,000 votes were cast in person in Bexar County by 4 p.m. on Monday. In comparison, 13,436 people voted on the first day in 2014.
Midland County Election Administrator Deborah Land also told The Tribune that the small county saw 3,546 ballots cast on Monday out of the 84,945 voters registered in the county. According to Land, only 756 voters in the county turned out on the first day in 2014.
O’Rourke’s home county, El Paso County, also reportedly saw a record turnout of 17,131 on Monday by 7 p.m.
It’s safe to assume that both the left and the right were fired up enough to turn out in large numbers. The groundswell around O’Rourke has been a successful Frankenstein’s monster that was created by the media and no small amount of out-of-state donations. The thought that a Democrat could actually succeed in the midst of one of the reddest states in America has the left salivating.
However, the right is motivated by this motivation on the left and wish to defend one of its greatest territories at all costs. Not only that, driven by the momentum given to Republicans by the success of appointing Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and being motivated by a successful Republican president in Donald Trump, with whom Cruz has buried the hatchet over their 2016 spats, the right has all the necessary ingredients to carry Cruz to victory.
Furthermore, there are clues that the recent record surge of voter registration in Texas was of the Republican variety. According to previous polls, Republicans became more enthused about voting after Kavanaugh’s appointment to the SCOTUS, outpacing Democrats who have seemingly been demoralized.
It probably doesn’t help that many clues point to O’Rourke knowing he’s lost already, as he’s keeping his millions of dollars accumulated over the course of his campaign, and refuses to share it with other Democrats. Some evidence exists that suggests O’Rourke may have already given up Texas for lost and has now set his sites to the seat Trump is sitting in now.
All signs point to a Cruz victory, but Republicans shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch. All signs once pointed to a Clinton victory not long ago. The right should make sure they get out and vote if they want to be sure.