TX SEN: Surging urban & Millennial vote + surprising Bush support = 2pt game now
As some of you know, for months here I've held best I felt Beto could do was a 5 point loss. I'm far from an expert on Texas politics, nor am I on the ground there. My prediction hasn't been based on any of the polling either, but solely on the feel a few old friends at Texas Monthly shared about for the state of this race.
Back in September, when Cruz was publicly sounding the alarm about a possible loss, my TM friends rolled their eyes. Apparently, Cornyn's crowd and Texas donors privately saw through Cruz. He was just pissy that his expected, single-digit win would paint him "too weak" to keep alive the last dredges of his presidential aspirations. Cornyn dutifully brought Cruz more money and aid.
But, as they always do, Cruz's ambitions got the best of him. He sought out Trump world's help in a cynical ploy to boost his margins into a dominating victory.
Ah Ted, you craven fool, you bowed down and worshipped at the altar of the Trumpster in the one red state left where the Bushies still wield some considerable, political influence. For months, GWB has been not-so-privately campaigning and raising money for TX GOPers, while leaving Cruz out in the cold. This is not new information as reports of GWB's efforts have dutifully appeared in several newspapers.
What hasn't been reported, at least I can't find any report on it, over the last few weeks, Bush-world has gone beyond just shunning Cruz. While they have long disliked him, Cruz kissing the Trumpster's ass in the heart of their Texas was the last straw. The Bushies have taken the extraordinary step of letting certain friends (ahem email lists) know they're A-OK with Abbott/Beto ticket-splitting.
So does this guarantee a Beto win? No, GOP cross-over percentage will still be too low to flip the state to him, but add a few more right-leaning Indies feeling it's "safe" to break for Beto, and could shave down that margin by 1.5pts.
That still leaves Beto down by 3.5 points to overcome. And, that brings me to Texas' record-breaking midterms early vote.
TX Texas early vote for 2018 (in-person & mail) ends up at 92% of the 2016 early vote.
Michael LiVerified account @mcpli
Texas early vote for 2018 (in-person & mail) ends up at 92% of the 2016 early vote.
If you factor in the other 224 counties tallies, early vote exceeds 5 million.
Erik Vidor @ErikVidor
A follow up: we're now up to 5,110,000 voters in the file. Almost 546,000 or 10.5% are w/o voting history back to 2010. 51% are U35 & 51% female. Millennials are showing up y'all. Thinking we'll have a huge final Friday turnout.
4:32 PM - 2 Nov 2018
For a state with some of the lowest turnout rates, that's a remarkable feat. Experts are now predicting total vote could come close to 7.4 million, 300,000+ more than most pollsters are modeling.
While the Cruz campaign been publically crowing over the GOP turnout, privately there is some growing concern the urban surge could flip Tarrant County to the Dems. Tarrant County (Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area) is the 3rd largest county, and Trump won it 52.2% to 43.5%. But like some other Texas' counties, it's held Republican mainly due to low minority and under 35 turnout rates.
Where is the fabled youth vote?
While some reports Texas youth vote is up 508%, that's misleading as it's an 5x increase over positively abysmal 2014 TX turnout rates.
The statistic you should be paying attention to is the 10.5% (so far) of TX early voters who have no primary/general election voting history, and 51% are under 35 years old. To put this number into better prospective, nearly 280,000 new voters are under 35.
"The Millenials are showing up, y'all."
While we can't count all these voters for Beto, like Obama, I expect Beto to exceed normal Dems 18-35 margins.
There you have it. After adjusting for new variables, I now have the race down to 2 points.
Two last points,
the GOP haven't been sitting idly by watching Beto surge. They're amping up their rural turnout machine, and as we know from 2016, that could throw some projections way off.
Texas has been blowing up every projection pollsters and local experts have made regarding turnout. No one, I repeat NO ONE has any real handle how many Texans will come out Tuesday.
Heading off to bed but wanted to stress the statewide vs Tarrant County margins:
Statewide: Trump 52.6%, Clinton 43.4%
Tarrant County: Trump 52.2%, Clinton 43.5%
Tarrant is the 3rd largest county. Flip it, and it’s all new ball-game in Texas.