Reliable blocs Dems count on didn’t turn out in Texas early voting

Early voting data out of Texas could spell trouble for Democrats, with demographics the party typically depends on not turning out during the early voting period.

Turnout in Harris County, Texas, which encompasses most of the greater Houston area, was down in 2022 compared to the 2018 midterm elections, according to Texas Secretary of State data. Leading the decline were young voters, who recorded a 35% decline in early voting, and Black voters, who saw a 25% drop, spelling potential trouble for Democrats.

The stalled turnout operation caused Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke to make a trip to the Houston area Friday, holding rallies at The University of Houston and Texas Southern University in an effort to get young voters out to the polls.

“We’re seeing a spike in voter performance at every location we stop at and rally at and thank them for doing their part to make sure we will win and pull through,” O’Rourke told KTRK. 

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Beto O’Rourke and Governor Greg Abbott will be facing off again in the Texas 2022 gubernatorial election.
(Getty Images)

Democrats are generally more likely to vote early, while Republicans have traditionally been inclined to vote on Election Day. Early voter turnout across the Houston area was down 7-10% overall, which could be critical in deciding 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 turning out the vote,” Texas Southern University professor of political science Michael Adams told KTRK.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
(Shelby Tauber/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Adams believes the decline in early voting could indicate a lack of enthusiasm among the state’s Democrat voters, something he attributed to the party’s messaging on abortion and gun control.

Beto O'Rourke speaks at campaign event.

Beto O’Rourke speaks at campaign event.
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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“They thought they would get a lot of traction out of that, 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.

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