President Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged Republicans in Texas to vote in the state’s March 6 primary after Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned that the Democrats’ early vote total “should shock every conservative to the core.”
“I want to encourage all of my many Texas friends to vote in the primary for Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton. They are helping me to Make America Great Again! Vote early or on March 6th,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
I want to encourage all of my many Texas friends to vote in the primary for Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton. They are helping me to Make America Great Again! Vote early or on March 6th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2018
On Monday, Abbott warned Texas Republicans to not be complacent as “Democrat voter turnout is surging statewide.”
“We’ve seen a surge of liberal enthusiasm in deep red states like Georgia, Alabama, and Oklahoma,” Abbott continued. “We had always hoped the liberal wave would never hit Texas, but these early voting returns aren’t encouraging so far.”
— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) February 26, 2018
According to the Dallas Morning News, “through Sunday in the 15 Texas counties with the most registered voters, 135,070 people had voted in the Republican primary and 151,236 in the Democratic. Compared with the first six days of early voting in 2014, Democratic turnout increased 69 percent, while Republicans saw a 20 percent increase.”
Texas Democrats have become even more optimistic about making gains in the state after a recent Gallup report determined that Texas is “competitive” state rather than a solidly Republican one.
Did you see this Gallup Poll? Texas is a competitive state: https://t.co/fkq0eUh8v2
— Texas Democrats (@texasdemocrats) February 13, 2018
Last week, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro even predicted that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will lose his Senate seat in November.
“I think that Ted Cruz is gonna lose his Senate seat,” Castro–who was President Barack Obama’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary and is actively considering a 2020 run–said during an appearance at the University of Texas at Austin with his activist mother and twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX). He also predicted a “turning over of the House of Representatives” in 2018 and “probably a turning over of the Senate seat here in Texas.”
An election expert told the Morning News, though, that Republicans have historically turned out in higher numbers for the general election. In addition, as Abbott referenced, Democrats have not won statewide in Texas since the 1990s.
And in what could be the ultimate tell of the party’s potential this year, Rep. Castro was not confident enough to challenge Cruz for his Senate seat even after one statewide poll last year actually had Castro leading Cruz by four percentage points.