Fewer people voted during early voting period in 2014 compared to 2010:
At the end of 2014 early voting period, roughly 1.715 million votes have been cast in 2014 in the top 15 counties in the state of Texas, and this is roughly similar to 1.731 million votes cast during the early voting period in 2010 for the same counties.
Although the total number of registered voters (in these 15 counties) in 2014 was higher in 2014 (8.978 million vs 8.339 million), a slightly lower percentage of people cast their ballot during EV period (19.11 % vs 20.76 %).
Therefore, voter malaise is real.
Does this mean Republicans have a big advantage?
No. Contrary to popular wisdom, the republican advantage due to slightly lower turn-out may not be high. In most of the counties that democrats won in 2010, the EV percent is roughly similar in 2014, indicating that there was not a huge drop off in democratic voters. There is also not a big uptick in the EV % in the counties won by republicans.
Two large counties stand out. First, Harris county which former Mayor Bill White - democrat, won narrowly in 2010, has seen a sizable drop in EV percentage (5 %), and most likely Harris will swing to republicans in 2014. Second, EV in Tarrant county is up by 3% compared to 2010, and this may be because the democratic gubernatorial candidate Ms. Wendy Davis is from Tarrant county. So, this district may swing democratic in 2014. The swings in these large counties may offset each other.
Based on the analysis of EV in the top 15 Texas counties, it looks like that the democrats may have kept their head above the water in the early voting.
Get out the vote:
So, it boils down to who shows up at the voting booth on election night. It appears that the Texas democrats are better organized than usual this time around, and there is no evidence of the 2010 tea-party wave fueled by anti-Obamacare sentiments roused by candidates such as Ted Cruz.
In the absence of any wave, if each of the 30,000 volunteers that Ms. Wendy Davis’s campaign claims to have on the field, bring just 10 otherwise unlikely voters to the polling booth, this could be a very close election than most predictions.
Let us see tomorrow.