Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.

  • Polling suggests that Texas — in part because of its changing demographics — has become increasingly favorable for Democrats.
  • Hillary Clinton lost the state by over 800,000 votes in 2016, but former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) lost to Sen. Ted Cruz (R) by only around 215,000 votes in its 2018 Senate race.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's vice presidential nominee, is heading to Texas on Friday, but Democrats in the state are still urging the campaign to pour more money into the state.

The big picture: Texas is the second state to surpass its 2016 turnout purely from early voting. Hawaii became the first to do so earlier this week.

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