Early Birds: D's Hold 3 to 1 Lead
Fri February 29, 2008 6:08 pm

At the end of the day on Thursday, the next to last day of early voting, here were the statewide numbers:

Democratic primary voters: 696,696
Republican primary voters: 223,631

The Secretary of State's office has not posted the results from Friday.

Some numbers crunchers believe that the Democratic numbers were swelled by Republicans voting in the Democratic primary, accounting for as much as 15% of the total. So, let's subtract 15% of the voters (104,504) from the Democratic total in the state's fifteen largest counties and add them to the Republican side:

D's: 592,192
R's: 328,135

This is still a dominant performance. It is reminiscent of what Texas politics used to be like, back in the seventies and eighties. The Democrats always outvoted the Republicans in the primaries, because the contests for local offices kept conservatives in the Democratic primary. Then, in the fall, the conservatives would vote Republican. When the rural areas flipped Republican, due to the emergence of cultural issues and the appeal of Phil Gramm in rural Texas, the Democratic party went into a decline that lasted twenty years. Now the votes are in the big metro counties. Here is how the top fifteen counties are voting for the first nine days of the eleven-day early voting period (through Thursday):

Harris County:
136,032 D
41,412 R

Dallas County:
95,964 D
26,239 R

Tarrant County:
64,532 D
27,749 R

Bexar County:
82,626 D
26,618 R

Travis County:
75,234 D
14,696 R

Collin County:
28,701 D
18,735 R (This is one county where Ds may be voting in the R primary due to local races)

El Paso County:
41,788 D
7,771 R

Denton County:
22,242 D
12,740 R

Hidalgo County:
42,805 D
2,620 R

Fort Bend County:
26,939 D
10,945 R

Montgomery County:
10,312 D
12,857 R (This is the only large county in which R's outvoted D's)

Williamson County:
17,977 D
10,264 R

Nueces County:
18,203 D
4,017 R

Galveston County:
14,380 D
4,992 R

Cameron County:
18,081 D
1,776 R

I'm going to deal with what these numbers mean in a separate post.

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