Fellow Grassroots Texans:
With the benefit of 10 days of early voting data, we estimate that the Dallas County Democrats are ahead of the Dallas County Republicans in early voting turnout.
If present trends continue, we estimate that the countywide Democratic Party candidates will end up, on average, with margins of approximately 25,000 early votes over their Republican counterparts.
While this is a hurdle the Republican candidates would no doubt prefer to do without, it is far from insurmountable. In 2004, Lupe Valdez was down 4% in early voting, but dominated election day voting by 8 points, thus securing a win. In 2008, a terrible year for Republicans, the Dallas County Republicans nonetheless edged out the Democrats in election day turnout.
The Republicans’ situation this year is certainly a marked improvement over their situation in 2008, when they finished early voting down by approximately 75,000 votes in most countywide races.
In other words, while it appears that the Democrats are outperforming the Republicans so far, it also appears that the Democrats are down approximately 20% from their 2008 numbers. For their part, the Republicans appear to be running approximately even with their 2008 early voting turnout numbers.
BOTTOM LINE: It appears that Dallas County will come down to election day turnout. If the Dallas County Republicans can overcome a slight deficit on Election Day, they will win the county. If not, the Dallas County Democrats will chalk up their fourth countywide win in a row.
(CAVEAT: The analysis above is based on prior voting patterns in Dallas County. Prior voting patterns always predict future voting patterns–except when they don’t. Predictions made on prior behavior are reasonable, but the voters don’t always get the memo.)