If you are among the people who find it difficult to believe that Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has a chance of beating Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in this traditionally deep red state, you don’t understand how energized the electorate is here.
The best way to demonstrate just how excited people are to send a message to President Trump through their midterm candidate choices is to take a look at the tallies of people who already submitted their ballots in early voting.
According to The Texas Tribune, just the early voting counts alone in the 30 Texas counties where 78 percent of the state’s registered voters reside have already exceeded the total number of votes cast in the last midterm election in 2014 as well as those in the 2012 presidential election year.
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Nearly 40% of the registered voters in those counties have already cast their ballots, nearing the 45.1% who voted in total during the 2016 election that got us into this current sorry condition.
Political analysts believe that the record early turnout should be making Ted Cruz very nervous. Already hampered by his inherent unlikability, Cruz is facing a charismatic opponent in Beto O’Rourke who has the advantage of not having to obsequiously fawn over a president who insulted his wife, his father, and gave him the nickname “Lying Ted Cruz”.
O’Rourke himself thinks that the surge in voter turnout augers well for his becoming the first Democrat elected to a statewide office in Texas in over 20 years.
“If North Texas continues to turn out in the record numbers that we’ve seen, shattering every midterm total for as long as we’ve been looking at them, in some cases rivaling presidential voter turnout, then we’re going to win this race,” O’Rourke said after a rally Friday, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“The best thing I can do is continue to be with the people of North Texas, just as we have been for almost the last two years,” he continued.
With the latest poll from fivethirtyeight.com putting the race in a dead heat for the first time, O’Rourke is positioned to achieve a stunning upset, but only if he can sustain the kind of high turnout from his supporters that the early voting totals indicate.
Don’t be complacent, Texans! If you aren’t among those who have already cast their ballots, get out to the polls on Tuesday and make history by electing Beto O’Rourke and send Trump the message that he needs to hear!
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Original reporting by Arris Folley at The Hill, by Brianna Stone and Gromer Jeffers Jr. at The Dallas Morning News, and by Elbert Wang, Darla Cameron, and Chris Essig at The Texas Tribune.