Early Birds: The Conclusion
CNN is reporting today that 60% of the vote in Texas has already been cast. This means that any local candidate who trails after the early vote will have a hard time overcoming their opponent’s lead. Assume, for example, that 10,000 votes are going to be cast in a race, and Candidate X, we’ll call him Phil King, has a 52-48 lead after the early vote. What percentage of the remaining vote would candidate Y, we’ll call him Joe Tison, have to win in order to overtake him?
King: 52% of 6,000 votes = 3,120
Tison: 48% of 6,000 votes = 2,880
King + 240 votes
ELECTION DAY VOTE Let’s say Tison wins election day by 53%
Tison: 53% of 4,000 votes = 1,880
King: 47% of 4,000 votes = 2,120
Tison + 240 votes
Conclusion: Any candidate trailing by 52-48 after the early vote will have to win the election day vote by more than 53% in order to win.
I presume that CNN got its turnout numbers from the Secretary of State’s office, or from a numbers cruncher who relies on the Secretary of State’s office’s raw data. The top 15 counties account for approximately 62% of the statewide registered voters. Secretary of State Phil Wilson is projecting a total voter turnout of 3.3 million. The early vote in both primaries totals 1,193,526, which is 62% of 1.98 million, which rounds to two million, which is 60.6% of 3.3 million.
Of course, if Wilson’s turnout estimate is too low, this exercise was a waste of time.