The early vote totals coming out of Texas were already raising eyebrows across the political spectrum, but the in-person numbers from Election Day are getting Democrats hopeful that this year the Lone Star State will finally turn blue.
Harris County, which includes Houston and its suburbs, has become the epicenter for the turnout surge.
More people have voted in Harris County as of Tuesday afternoon than the population of 11 other states, according to County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who administers the elections there.
133,000 people voted in-person on Election Day in Harris County as of 3 p.m., according to the Texas secretary of state’s office.
Total turnout in Harris County broke 1.5 million on Tuesday, with the county seeing its highest turnout rate since 1992’s 72%.
Turnout in one Texas county is getting to the point where the Lone Star State could actually be in play for Joe Biden and the Democrats.
In Harris County, home to Houston and its suburbs, more people had voted by midday Tuesday than the population totals of 11 other states, according to Lina Hidalgo, the county judge who oversees its elections.
By 3 p.m., total votes in Harris County broke 1.5 million, with more than 133,000 votes cast in-person on Election Day by that point.
These numbers are well beyond most projections, and put the Lone Star State in play for the Democrats.
Texas political observers have pegged 12 million as the magic number for total votes cast for Democrats to flip the state, and almost 10 million votes were counted by Halloween, according to the US Elections Project.
Even if the Democrats fall short of winning statewide in Texas, these turnout numbers coupled with the inroads the party made in the 2018 midterms mean that both parties are likely to approach it more as a swing state than the traditional Republican stronghold it has been for four decades.
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