Here’s the latest updated early voting numbers for Williamson County, through Wednesday:
These numbers are so astonishing that Paul Burka has taken notice and now thinks that Rick Noriega can beat Sen. John Cornyn.
These numbers are so overwhelming, and the fifteen counties have such a large fraction of the state’s registered voters — 7,815,906 of 12,607,466, or 62% — that what happens in other 239 counties is unlikely to alter the trend. These numbers have made me a believer. Rick Noriega could defeat John Cornyn. The Democrats can win a majority in the Texas House of Representatives. The consummate irony is that George W. Bush, who made Texas a Republican state on his way in to the presidency, may make it a Democratic state on his way out.
Also Harvey Kronberg says, “OK, I agree, this is the most remarkable political campaign cycle in decades”. He even gives Williamson County a shout-out:
But this year, Democrats are substantially out-voting Republicans in the all important GOP strongholds — the suburban counties like Williamson, just north of Austin.
There’s lot of explanations posed by Republicans. Some say their voters are crossing over to vote for Hillary because she will help Republicans in Texas this fall. Some Republican friends tell me they crossed over to vote for Obama because they believe this is a Democratic year and while they ultimately plan to vote for McCain, if it is going to be a Democrat in the White House, they prefer Obama.
Party activists say the primary numbers are misleading and Republican voters will come home next November.
What I do know is this:
Nationally, people who self-identify as Democrats now exceed self-identifying Republicans by 20 percent, the biggest lead for either party since pollsters started asking the question. While I don’t know what the comparable Texas spread is, I would suggest that Governor Perry’s 39 percent win in the last election is probably the size of the unshakeable GOP base vote.
Maybe it’s little more than an aberration driven by an exciting race, but if Democrats do start competing successfully in hard core Republican suburban counties, Texas may actually become a two party state more quickly than most of us expected.
A two party state is what Texas deserves.