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2022 General Election - Early Voting Report

Good afternoon. This reports information on everyone who voted by mail or in person in Texas through the 10th day of early voting (i.e., through yesterday).
4,227,631 people have voted. That is 23.9% of all registered voters. Typically, ten days of early voting accounts for 80.4% of all votes cast during early voting. The last two days of early voting account for the remainder, with the Thursday being 7.8% and Friday being 11.8%.
Yesterday saw 437,560 people cast a vote. For those keeping track at home, the updated totals by day are:
Monday: 578,716
Tuesday: 530,745
Wednesday: 462,660
Thursday: 463,686
Friday: 449,419
Saturday: 328,460
Sunday: 153,622
Monday: 426,309
Tuesday: 396,454
Wednesday: 437,560

Early Voters by Previous Election History
Voters with previous Republican Primary history now have a 527,266 vote advantage over those with previous Democratic Primary history. That advantage has grown every day of early voting except for Sunday.
Day 1: 84,686 advantage for Republicans
Day 2: 168,337
Day 3: 242,982
Day 4: 314,172
Day 5: 382,669
Day 6: 391,931
Day 7: 385,162
Day 8: 440,895
Day 9: 491,736
Day 10: 527,266
When we review all early voters by their previous election history, the state’s early voters break out into the following categories:
Republican Primary voters - 43%
Democratic Primary voters - 31%
Voters with no primary election history - 27%

Tracked each day, the breakdowns look like this:

As a reminder, in 2018, the early voting breakdown ended up being 34% Republican Primary voters / 20% Democratic Primary voters / 46% with no previous primary election history. And in 2014, it was: 40% Republican Primary voters / 28% Democratic Primary voters / 33% with no previous primary election history.
This year looks like it has more in common with 2014 than it does 2018, but again, that could all change between now and Election Night.
2022 vs. 2018 - Turnout
As a reminder, in 2018, the Texas Secretary of State only tracked daily early voting information for the 30 largest counties in the state. To get an idea as to where we are this year, I pulled the data for the same 30 counties that were being reported daily in 2018.
Through ten days in 2018, these counties saw 3,973,931 votes cast.
Through yesterday, the 30 largest counties saw 3,352,763 votes cast.
This is a difference of 621,168 votes.

In 2018, for the entirety of early voting, 4,884,734 people voted in the largest counties (39.9% of all registered voters. I might have mistakenly said 38.5% in a previous email. My apologies for that.)
To reach the same total number of votes, 1.5 million people would need to vote in these counties today and tomorrow. On average, 350,000 people have voted each weekday of early voting.

However, that’s only a portion of the picture. The number of registered voters in these counties has grown from 12,255,607 to 13,868,899 over the last four years. To get to the 2018 rate of 39.9%, 2,174,983 people would need to vote today and tomorrow in these counties.
That’s a long way of saying that turnout is down.
Over the summer, I projected turnout would be above 2018 but below 2020. Using that formula, I estimated 10.2 million people would vote (57.7%).
Earlier, I discussed ten days of early voting typically accounts for 80.4% of votes cast. If that's the case this year, 5.26 million votes would be cast during early voting.

In 2018, early/mail vote accounted for 74% of all votes cast (the other 26% obviously came from people who voted on Election Day). Once again, if that trend remains the same, total turnout for this election would be just over seven million votes cast, or 40.0% of all registered voters.
Having said all of this, I suspect that Election Day voters will make up more than the 26% it did in 2018. I have no scientific proof to back this up. Just a hunch.
And as a disclaimer, I reserve the right to adjust my numbers after seeing what turnout is like today and tomorrow. I also reserve the right to be completely wrong about all of these projections. Wouldn't be a first.
Which Party's Voters are More Energized?
Currently, 49% of registered voters with previous Republican Primary history have voted while only 45% of registered voters with previous Democratic Primary history have voted. Based on just this data point, I give Republicans a slight edge in the battle of enthusiasm.

While there is only a 4% difference in participation rates between the two groups, there are approximately 840,000 more registered voters with Republican Primary history than those who have Democratic Primary history, This helps to explain why the margin is so much larger in terms of raw votes.

While Republican Primary voters as a whole have the advantage, it is worth noting that of voters who have voted in three of the last four or four of the last four Democratic Primaries, 68.0% have already voted early. Their counterparts, people who have voted in three of the last four or four of the last four Republican Primaries, have only turned out at a rate of 66.4%. I have a theory that some of the 3Rs and 4Rs (as they are called) are waiting to vote on Election Day.
Urban vs. Rural
Turnout in "The Big Five Counties" (Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Travis, and Tarrant) is averaging 24.1%. In the next 20 counties, the turnout average is 24.8%. Turnout in the remaining counties is averaging 22.4%.
Early voting is typically more popular in urban and suburban counties more so than it is in rural counties. For example in larger counties in 2018, 75% of votes were cast during early voting. However, in rural Texas, only 62% were cast during early voting. The fact that turnout in rural Texas is only two points off the other groups could either mean that people in rural Texas are opting for voting early as opposed to voting on Election Day, or it could mean that we might see higher turnout rates overall in rural Texas.

Of the 4,227,631 votes cast, 40.9% came from "The Big Five Counties." The next 20 counties account for 25.6% and the remaining counties account for the remaining 33.5%.
As I have mentioned before, rural Texas delivered victories for statewide Republican candidates in 2018 and 2020. Rural Texas is crucial for Republican candidates. However, some urban and suburban counties might provide some much-needed assistance.
In several of the larger counties, tighter races could prevent Democrats from gaining too much of an advantage. For example, in 2018 Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz by 201,298 votes in Harris County (58.0% vs. 41.3%). Everything I have seen indicates that results in Harris County might be closer than they have been in 2018 and 2020. The tighter the margin in counties like Harris, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Fort Bend, etc., the harder it is to for Democrats to bank enough votes to survive the heavily Republican rural vote.

Other Demographic Statistics
Here are the updated participation rates by gender and age. For example, 44% of registered voters aged 70+ have voted early while only 9% of voters aged 18-29 have voted early.

Voters aged 18-29 currently make up 8% of all votes cast. In 2018, they made up 13%.
Voters aged 70 and older currently make up 26% of all votes cast. In 2018, they made up 17%.

Every Political Consultant Becomes a Meteorologist

I had to take my migraine medication this afternoon. That usually means there's a front coming in the next 24-48 hours. Sure enough, I checked my weather app and there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow. Campaigns watch the weather because it impacts turnout (as it likely impacted turnout on the first day of early voting).

While we are still a few days out from Election Day, it appears there is also the possibility of rain for portions of the state on Tuesday.

Just something else to watch between now and Tuesday.

The Reports
For the full statewide report, please click here.
For the breakdown by county, please click here.
Last Notes
Hopefully, tomorrow, I will try to answer some questions that have come in via email and Twitter. Enjoy the report. Feel free to share it with anyone and if you are a member of the media, consider this as permission to use in your reporting.

Derek Ryan
(512) 496-5470
Venmo: @derekpryan

P.S. Be extremely jealous. I'm off to swim lessons for our nine month old. There's nothing like being in a room that is 85 degrees with 312% humidity. Or as people in the Houston area call it, "a day ending in 'y'."
Copyright © 2022 Ryan Data & Research, All rights reserved.

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