I’m not talking total number, I’m talking what share of the vote will be cast early. The professionals think it will be a lot.
“The early vote is more important this time than perhaps in any cycle in my lifetime in Texas,” said Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak, 32.
Upping its importance this time is what Mackowiak expects there to be lower turnout overall due to the lack of a presidential race and a primary day that comes about the time many people plan vacations.
“It just almost couldn’t be a worse time,” he said. “The only worse date for an election in Texas than May 29 is July 31″ – the runoff date.
The view is much the same from Democratic consultant Harold Cook’s side of the aisle.
“First, Election Day has become of less and less importance as years have gone on, and people get used to early voting,” Cook said.
“And No. 2, the obvious thing is the primary election date is the day after the holiday weekend, so people are not going to have their heads in the right place to vote, even if they are back in town,” Cook said.
“We are expecting upwards of 55 to 60 percent of voters to vote early this cycle,” said GOP consultant Corbin Casteel.
My gut reaction is that this is too high. The anecdotal evidence I’ve collected over the years is that there are some people who just prefer voting on Election Day at their precinct. Against that, if there’s ever an election to upset that dynamic, it’s this one. It’s on a non-traditional date, the precinct conventions have already been held, and as Harold Cook notes it’s the day after Memorial Day. I’m reluctant to put the over/under at higher than 50%, but I don’t know that I’d want to bet on it. For sure, if you’re running a campaign you want to have as many votes banked by May 25 as possible. What’s your guess about this?
By the way, here’s your Day 2 EV totals. Rs and Ds each had about the same number of in person votes as they had on Monday, with the returned mail ballot totals dropping by 90%. That translates to about 1,900 D votes and 4,400 R votes and totals of 8,100 and 17,800.