Early voting dates from Texas could pose problems for Democrats because the party typically relies on not running during the early voting period.
Voter turnout in Harris County, Texas, which includes most of the greater Houston area, was down in 2022 compared to the 2018 midterm election, according to data from the Texas Secretary of State. Leading the decline were young voters, who saw a 35% drop in early voting, and black voters, who saw a 25% drop, raising potential problems for Democrats.
The stalled turnout prompted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke to make a trip to the Houston area on Friday and hold rallies at the University of Houston and Texas Southern University to get young voters to the polls.
“We see an increase in voter power every place we stop and congregate and thank them for doing their part in helping us win and get through,” O’Rourke told KTRK.
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Democrats generally tend to vote early, while Republicans traditionally tend to vote on Election Day. Early voter turnout in the Houston area fell by 7-10% overall, which could be crucial in determining which party governs Texas.
“I think the difference in the outcome of this election will depend on which party has the best infrastructure in terms of voting,” Michael Adams, a professor of political science at Texas Southern University, told KTRK.
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Adams believes the decline in early voting may indicate a lack of enthusiasm among the state’s Democratic voters, which he attributed to the party’s messages on abortion and gun control.
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“They thought they would get a lot of traction from it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case,” Adams said.
The O’Rourke campaign did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.