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The Texas Primary Elections are Imminent, Does Anyone Care?

Texas primaries are on March 1st, just around the corner. Does anyone care?


Unlike the 2020 Presidential cycle headlined by Trump v Biden, and the 2018 news cycle in Texas headlined by Beto O'Rourke's heavily funded high profile challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz (the author came in third as the Libertarian Nominee), the 2022 primary news cycle has been relatively quiet, with overall fundraising off, and limited electoral politics discussion in the press compared to prior cycles, with political news discourse largely focusing on culture war and non electoral news.


The Texas Tribune UT Poll reports Republican primary leader incumbent Greg Abbott with a 10% lead 47/37 over Democrat primary leader Beto O'Rourke at the top of the 2022 ticket for Governor. O'Rourke is the choice of 93% of registered Democrat primary voters in that poll, while Abbott holds 60% lead with the next two contenders former state party chair Allen West and former legislator Don Huffines splitting the grass roots support with 15 and 14%. The large leads have likely dramatically reduced interest in the primary. Libertarian candidate for Governor Mark Tippetts (who won the 2018 Nomination in a tightly contested 4 way convention) is running unopposed for the convention nomination in April (the Libertarians have no contested races this year, due in part to new filing fees dampening recruitment). With no contested races and the lack of a intra party fight at the top drawing delegates some party insiders have said they expect a significant turnout dropoff at conventions this year.


Texas Elects Source, a well regarded elections data analyst firm, reports that Republican turnout is slightly up and Democrat is slightly down over the last non Presidential election cycle.


"Through yesterday (Wednesday), the 10th day of the early voting period, statewide turnout is 4.01% for the Republican primary and 2.45% for the Democratic primary. A little over 1.1M Texans have voted in person or by mail.

The number of voters casting ballots in the Republican primary is now slightly higher than at this point in 2018 in the 15 counties with the most registered voters (RVs). The number of votes cast continues to trail 2020 (-18%) and 2016 (-27%). Cameron and Hidalgo Cos. continue to see record numbers of early votes cast in the Republican primary.

In those same counties, 315K people have voted early in the Democratic primary, which continues to run behind the pace set in 2018 (365K). The number of Democratic votes cast so far is 8% below this point in 2016, 45% below 2020 and 56% below the 2008 record of 718K. None of the 15 counties are seeing record numbers of Democratic early votes." - TXElects.com

Emerson College Polling has AG Incumbent Ken Paxton potentially facing a Republican primary runoff against Land Commissioner George P Bush, though with a substantial lead, and a likely runoff between Garza and Jaworski for the Democratic nomination. It has Greg Abbott avoiding a runoff for the Republican nomination for Governor with 3:1 advantage of his next two opponents, Don Huffines and Allen West combined, and a 7% lead over Beto O'Rourke in the general election 52/45,

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