The early voting numbers continue to be phenomenal. The anecdotal evidence is considerable that Republicans are crossing over to the Democratic primary, so you can’t interpret the numbers solely as a predictor of how Texans will vote in November. (Just read the comments to my earlier posting on “Early Birds.” You can be sure that a considerable amount of effort is going to be expended by Republican consultants between now and the general election trying to figure out who these people are. Are they mainstream R’s who want to prevent Hillary from getting the nomination? Or are they disaffected R’s who are attracted by Obama? Or are they voting for the Democrat they think will be easier for McCain to defeat?
Look at Smith County (Tyler).
This is a county that voted 53,392 to 19,970 for Bush over Kerry in 2004. Would the vote be closer today? Yes. Do the early vote totals mean that Ds are close to parity in Smith County? I hardly think so. The numbers have to reflect crossovers.
This is the pattern we’re going to see in the fall. There will be crossovers from R to D and from D to R. Which means that there will be a lot less straight ticket voting than usual.