10.30.2020 0

President Trump says he’s ‘Way ahead in Texas!’ He’s probably right.


By Robert Romano

“Way ahead in Texas!”

That was President Donald Trump’s prediction on Twitter on Oct. 30. He’s probably right.

Turnout has already reached 9 million in Texas, beating 2016 turnout, with days still to go before election day.

Now, there are several factors to consider here. For starters, the population of registered voters has increased by almost 2 million in 2020 from four years ago.

Counties Hillary Clinton won gained 864,000 new voters, and counties President Trump won gained 990,000.

Also, 8 million out of the 9 million who have already voted are in-person early, according to Oct. 29 data from the Texas Secretary of State. Less than a million are mail-ins so far, as of Oct. 29.

Of the counties that voted for Clinton, 4.1 million have voted early or mailed it in, and in counties that voted for Trump, 4.9 million have voted, as of Oct. 29.

Turnout in Republican counties is about 54.2 percent and in Democratic counties it is 52.2. percent. Meaning, Republicans seem to be winning early voting in the Lone Star State.

If you affix the same percentages that each candidate won last time to each of the counties and assume little has changed in the state: Trump has 4.669 million votes and Biden has 3.947 million votes.

That’s pretty close to last time, and there’s still a few days to go.

Now, assuming that each county will vote at the same percentage for each candidate compared to 2016 gives you a baseline. It will change. Perhaps Biden does do a little better, and if he does it will be because Democrats registered more people in the largest, bluest counties. But a baseline is about the best you can hope for from early vote tallies.


 

There is no party registration in Texas. There is party affiliation that requires an oath and allows you to vote in primaries which expires every year. But not everyone votes in primaries.

So, the above analysis merely takes into account the increased voter registration by county from 2016 to 2020, and then early voting figures as of Oct. 29, and assuming comparable figures for both candidates.

Each candidate could expand their margins by either registering more people or persuading swing voters, but there is little evidence in polling to suggest a collapse of Republican support for Trump.

Even the New York Times/Siena poll showing Trump up by just 4 points has Trump support among Republicans at 94 percent. Biden’s Democrat support is at 93 percent. It also shows Trump at 55 percent for men and 41 percent for women, and Biden at 36 percent for men and only 51 percent for women.

It seems turnout in the Times/Siena poll is weighted toward Democrats and females, but again, Republican counties are leading in early voting in Texas. I don’t think it will be that close, but on the other hand, Democrats are indeed putting money and resources into eventually turning Texas blue.

They’ll likely fall short this year.

Those assuming that Democrats will turn out heavier than Republicans — perhaps based on Democrats’ mail-in advantage — if that’s how they’re polling other states, could be padding Democrats’ performance in those polls. The evidence from early voting doesn’t seem to show that. We’ll find out on Tuesday. I don’t think it will be that close (within 4 points) in Texas, I think the margin will be more than that.

At least in 2020, barring a shocking collapse of Republican support for President Trump, Texas should be solidly red this year.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

 

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