Early voting is heavy in Harris County, more than doubling what it was through the first seven days in 2011. With 52,170 votes already cast, you can see that, as expected, Harris County will disproportionately affect the outcome of the statewide constitutional amendment propositions. In 2011, 695,052 Texans voted in the constitutional amendment election, with 152,597 votes being cast in Harris County or 22%. In 2013, it appears the Harris County may approach 30% of the statewide total.
An analysis of the City of Houston vote by Kyle Johnston of Johnston Campaign estimates that through the first five days, the ethnic breakdown of those casting Houston ballots is African American 32%, Hispanic 12%, Asian 1%, and Other (Anglo) 55%. Mr. Johnston also finds that of the City of Houston voters, 61% have a Democratic primary history, 34% have a Republican primary history, and 5% have no primary history. This partisan breakdown provides further evidence that the time has passed when a candidate running as a Republican can be elected Mayor of Houston.
In the current mayoral election, Mayor Parker’s polling is showing her pulling away from Dr. Hall. According to her internal polls, the undecideds are breaking her way and Dr. Hall’s pro forma television buy is not sufficient to keep him in the game. Either the Mayor’s polls are wrong or she is going to win without a runoff.
I also recently reviewed a couple of Republican primary polls for Texas races. The polls continue to show that the number one issue for Texas Republican primary voters is illegal immigration. That is why you are seeing Republican candidates strenuously oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, because the Republican primary base demands that they crack down on illegal immigration. However, the hard facts of demography tell us that Hispanic voters will ultimately become the majority in Texas. The Republicans truly are between a primary rock and a demographic hard place.
Lastly, it has been a good couple of weeks for Sen. Glenn Hegar in his race for State Comptroller. He has recently been endorsed by both Comptroller Susan Combs (an establishment conservative) and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (a movement conservative). With Debra Medina’s renewed focus on the race, Rep. Harvey Hilderbran appears to be in a difficult position. On the positive side, Rep. Hilderbran was recently endorsed by Brint Ryan, the Founder of Ryan LLC, which has a huge tax practice before the Comptroller’s office. Mr. Ryan apparently has a different analysis of the likely outcome of the race than current conventional wisdom.