A surge of Democratic voters could indicate a shift in Texas politics, even in East Texas
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - An increase in the number of Democratic voters who early voted and turned out to the polls Tuesday is being watched closely by both parties. There are some reasons why this so-called Democratic surge is happening.
Politicos ask, "Is the state going blue after one-million Democratic Texas voters participated in this year's mid-term election?"
Probably not says political science professor, Dr. Ken Collier, a political science professor at Stephen F. Austin State University. However, he said a blend of purple is possible.
"It's probably a long way from the Democrats winning more than one or two statewide races, if that many this year, but, you know, this is the kind of preliminary signs that you would see in the Democrats advancing," Collier said.
A Gallup poll refers to Texas as a competitive state.
It's something Republican State Representative Travis Clardy was well aware of at last night's watch party in Nacogdoches. He's loyal to the GOP and hopeful all parties will stick to the issues important to Texans.
"I do welcome, truly, the opportunity to join those issues," Clardy said. I think we need to move the discussion of this country back toward the middle where 80 to 90 percent of Americans live and let's talk about those things that are truly important."
National media credit El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke run for U.S. Senate for bringing Democrats to the polls. In a campaign stop last week in Nacogdoches, O'Rourke continued his effort to appeal to all voters.
"It does not matter whether you are Republican or Democrat, Independent or even really or not if you can vote," said O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate for U.S. senator. The fact you are here, that you care about our country and you want something better. That you're willing to contribute to our country's success. That's what we should be focused on."
The focus for both parties through November is to maintain momentum and take nothing for granted.
"Parties almost always have to struggle," Collier said. "Sometimes it's against the overconfidence that comes with the success."
There were two highly contested races in the Republican Primary which created interest with Nacogdoches County voters. Republicans remain dominant, but Democratic turnout in that county was more than twice the number of voters as seen in 2014 mid-term elections.
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