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Tuesday , December 18 2018
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Home | Tag Archives: texas primaries

Tag Archives: texas primaries

On First Day of Early Voting in Texas Primaries, Turnout Looks Up – Especially Among Democrats

On Tuesday, more Democrats cast primary ballots than Republicans on the first day of early voting in the 15 Texas counties with the most registered voters. That hasn’t happened since 2008.

Fifty-four percent of the day’s 51,249 in-person votes in those counties Tuesday were cast in the Democratic primaries, according to the Texas secretary of state. In 2014, that number was slightly less than half, and in 2010, Democrats represented just 45 percent of first-day voters.

Meanwhile, the total combined first-day turnout in those counties was up by more than 10,000 compared to the last two mid-term elections.

It’s hard to know what is responsible for those numbers — or whether the trends will continue through primary election day. The growth in first-day turnout comes during a time of high motivation among Democrats across the country. But there aren’t high-profile Republican primaries for governor or U.S. Senate in Texas this year.

Also, the state’s urban centers tend to lean more Democratic, so it’s unclear whether the numbers are similar in more rural counties.

Strong primary turnout for one party doesn’t necessarily replicate itself in a general election. The last time Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans on first-day voting in primaries was 2008 during a heated presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Republicans still swept the state that year.

Still, some of Tuesday’s numbers have Democrats excited.

In 2010, 15,523 Democrats in the top 15 counties voted on the primary’s first day of early voting. This year, that figure has nearly doubled, to 28,475. Republican first-day turnout increased over the same period, but only by about 4,000 voters.

In Harris County, home of Houston, Democratic turnout was up 200 percent from 2014, while Republican turnout increased by 25 percent. And in Dallas County, Democratic first-day turnout grew 56 percent from 2014 to 2018, while Republican first-day turnout shrunk 19 percent.

Texas provides for nearly two full weeks of early voting before the state’s official primary election day March 6. In 2014, nearly 600,000 total votes were cast in early voting.

Read related Tribune coverage:

Author: EMMA PLATOFF – The Texas Tribune

EPCC to Host Forums for Upcoming Primary Election

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) Political Forums Committee will hold primary debates and town halls for the March 6, 2018 primary elections.

“Most people don’t worry too much about the primaries, so they save their voting power for the general elections.  We think it is crucial for voters to elect the best nominee from each party,” EPCC SGA Secretary and Political Forums Chair, Bryan Mena said. “We hope to mobilize both our students and the general public.”

The largest of these events will be a Super Thursday debate with the candidates for the 16th Congressional District seat, 6:00 p.m., Thursday, February 15th at the EPCC Administrative Services Center Building A Auditorium, located at 9050 Viscount Boulevard.

EPCC Political Forums Committee will collaborate with EPCC, United Advocacy of El Paso, Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center, The El Paso Leadership Institute, and REV UP Texas for Super Thursday. The moderator will be Abel Rodriquez of Dialog Radio Network.

The Political Forums Committee is made up of EPCC students, staff and faculty. The committee is spearheaded by EPCC SGA Secretary and Political Forums Chair, Bryan Mena, who invited like-minded EPCC community members to take part in the committee’s mission of increasing voter registration, boosting voter turnout, educating the El Paso county electorate and bringing candidates face to face with their community.

Additional debates or forums:

State Representative, District 75 Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Mission del Paso Campus, Building A Cafeteria
10700 Gateway Blvd. East
Time and Date:  5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 1st

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Transmountain Campus, Forum Theater
9570 Gateway Blvd., North
Time and Date:  10:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 7th

El Paso County Judge Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Transmountain Campus, Forum Theater
9570 Gateway Blvd., North
Time and Date:  noon, Wednesday, February 7th

For more information, please call (915) 831-2096 or visit their Facebook page.

Analysis: The Winner-Take-Some Texas Primaries

Every presidential candidate wants to win in Texas, but the state’s major parties will also be rewarding second- and even third-place finishers in this year’s primaries.

It’s not a winner-take-all state unless a winner proves to be extravagantly popular with Texas voters.

In all likelihood, the Republicans and the Democrats will be awarding delegates to the top candidates in proportion to the votes they receive. Winning just one vote in five might sound bad in the headlines, but it could add to the all-important delegate tallies that will ultimately determine the party nominees.

The two parties allocate their delegates differently, but with the same idea in mind: sending a delegation to the national conventions that reflects the voting for top candidates here.

The Republican Party of Texas has a winner-take-all provision in its primary, and the chances any candidate will get all of that party’s Texas delegates are very small. That candidate would have to win more than 50 percent of the vote statewide, and also in each of the state’s 36 congressional districts, to run the table.

It would be even harder for a Democrat to get all of the delegates on March 1. That would require winning 85 percent of the vote statewide and in each of Texas’ 31 state Senate districts.

Both are theoretically possible, but with so many candidates, unlikely. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the best-known Democrats in the race, but there are eight presidential candidates on that party’s ballot. And the list of Republicans includes the people still on the debate stages —  Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump — along with eight others who are either less well-known or who have stopped campaigning.

It’s a mob scene — the kind of race where it would be difficult to win a clear majority. That’s why second- and third-place finishes could be valuable. Here are the rules.

Republicans

The Republicans have 2,472 national delegates, including 155 from Texas. It’ll take 1,237 to win.

The state GOP doles out delegates in two batches: 47 of them are awarded based on statewide results, and 108 are awarded based on the results in each of the state’s 36 congressional districts.

How many a candidate gets depends on how well the candidate does. Winning more than half of the state votes gets a candidate all of the 47 delegates at stake. If the top candidate has fewer than half of the votes, the delegates are assigned on a proportional basis, but there is a nuance there, too. If the lead candidate is the only one with more than 20 percent of the vote, that candidate splits delegates on a proportional basis with the second-place finisher.

Nobody else gets any delegates. If more than one candidate gets 20 percent or more, each of them gets delegates on a proportional basis. And if no candidate gets more than 20 percent, all of the candidates win delegates based on each one’s proportion of the vote.

At the congressional district level, 108 delegates are at stake — three in each of the state’s 36 districts. The rules are similar to those for divvying up statewide delegates. A candidate with more than half of the votes in a district gets all three of that district’s delegates. If at least one breaks 20 percent (but not 50), the top finisher gets two delegates and the second-place finisher gets one. If no candidate breaks 20 percent in a district, each of the top three finishers gets one delegate.

Democrats

The Democrats have 4,763 national delegates, meaning it will take 2,382 to win the nomination. Of that total, 252 will come from Texas. That number includes 30 “superdelegates” from Texas, a term that refers to unpledged delegates who are not bound to a particular candidate except by their own choice. The group includes members of Congress from Texas, Democratic National Committee members and other party nobles in Texas.

Of the 222 delegates without that “super” label, 145 come out of the state’s 31 state Senate districts. The number available from each district is based on average Democratic voter turnout in the most recent general elections for president and governor. It ranges from a high of 10 delegates in Austin’s Senate District 14 to a low of two delegates in Senate District 31, which ranges from the Texas Panhandle down to the Permian Basin.

Candidates have to get at least 15 percent of the vote to get any delegates; those who meet that mark get delegates on a proportional basis.

The final 77 delegates are apportioned according to the statewide votes for the candidates. Again, anyone with at least 15 percent of the vote gets some delegates, and delegates are handed out proportionately to everyone above that mark.

The superdelegates are not bound by the primary vote; they can go with the candidate of their choice no matter how Texans vote. That makes them attractive targets for the candidates, who can win superdelegate votes with personal politicking off the campaign trail.

Author:  – The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues

AARP Texas Asks Candidates for Their Social Security Plans

AUSTIN, Texas – AARP Texas is seeking answers from all the presidential candidates running in the March 1 Texas Primary regarding their plans to keep Social Security solvent.

Early voting begins today in Texas, which is the biggest delegate prize for candidates among the 12 states holding elections on “Super Tuesday.”

Rob Schneider, manager for outreach and advocacy for AARP Texas, says candidates owe it to the voters to let them know where they stand.

“What we’re looking for is for every candidate to be able to articulate a plan to keep Social Security secure for future generations,” says Schneider. “Any candidate who thinks they are entitled to be president ought to be able to tell voters how they’ll keep Social Security strong.”

Schneider says without action, many Social Security recipients could face a 25 percent cut in benefits in about 20 years. He says that for many retirees, that could mean a cut of up to $10,000 a year, especially hurting those on a fixed income.

Currently, Social Security is the only income for one in three Texans who are 65 or older.

Schneider says AARP Texas “Take A Stand” volunteers plan to show up wherever a candidate is speaking to ask them what their plan is for Social Security.

“Already in the early primary states, we’ve had our red-shirt Take A Stand volunteers at town hall meetings, at airports and meeting candidates and asking them to make sure that they have a plan to keep Social Security secure,” he says.

AARP is a non-partisan organization that advocates for Americans 50 and older, and seeks to provide information on Social Security, Medicare and other policy issues.

AARP is making all candidates’ Social Security plans available online at www.2016takeastand.org

Author: Mark Richardson – Texas News Service

Analysis: Texas, Uncharacteristically, is an Early Primary State

When you talk about early primary states, remember that you’re sitting in one of them. Texans start voting in the presidential election in eight days.

Iowa is out of the way. New Hampshire voters add their voices Tuesday. And two more states — South Carolina and Nevada — will vote later this month. But Texans start the early voting for the March 1 primaries next Tuesday, and many voters here will cast their ballots before the results in those states are known.

The presidential field is shrinking, but the nominations won’t be decided until Texans have spoken. It’s partly a matter of timing and partly a matter of size.

Iowa and New Hampshire are important, if only as cutting contests that narrow the number of candidates to a meaningful few. They operate almost like preseason scrimmages, stripping away the speculation and talk and showing, in miniature, how the candidates fare in front of actual voters.

They don’t decide who gets the nomination — that happens when Texas and the rest of the states weigh in. But they separate those who can from those who can’t. They matter to candidates who are gasping for oxygen. A decent showing in the early rounds can keep supporters interested. Interested supporters can keep candidates alive until the real voting starts.

Several governors at the bottom of the Republican pile are hoping for that kind of resuscitation Tuesday in New Hampshire, and for the kind of financial infusion that might make them viable in Texas and the other Super Tuesday states. Four contenders checked out after the Iowa numbers were in. More will probably drop this week.

It’s kind of weird that two states with a combined 10 votes in the electoral college would have this kind of clout. Here’s how many people voted in the Republican caucuses in Iowa: 186,000. And the number of Democratic caucus-goers the same night: 171,000.

For all of the attention that got, those numbers are smaller than the 2014 general election turnout numbers for about a half dozen of the state Senate districts in Texas.

In 2012 — a year when Texas wasn’t really instrumental in the nomination races —2 million people voted in the party primaries. With neither nomination set this year, the competition might increase that turnout. A decisive win here would really count.

Size matters.

Ted Cruz won the Iowa GOP caucus with 51,666 votes. Hey, it was enough, right? But it’s a tiny slice of a small state. Here’s some perspective. A candidate with as many votes as Cruz got in Iowa would have been on the losing side in 28 of Texas’ 31 senate districts. His total amounted to less of the votes cast in most of those races. In the mid-summer 2012 GOP runoff that put him in the Senate, Cruz got 631,812 votes.

A candidate coming in third or fourth place in Texas this year could easily win more delegates to the national convention than the Iowa and New Hampshire frontrunners combined.

But timing matters, too.

Running in small states is more forgiving to shoestring budgets. Good early performances can attract money. Starting a presidential election in a state like Texas could give rich candidates all of the advantages. It’d be the political version of favoring big business over small business.

It is possible for an unknown, underfunded and scrappy candidate to beat a relatively well-known and wealthy candidate: That’s the 2012 race between Cruz and David Dewhurst. It’s uncommon, but possible.

The presidential candidates get here with one of those problems solved: The voters know their names. Those same voters have early results to look at, too, giving them a read on which campaigns have a little momentum, who’s acting like a loser or a winner, who ought to get the nod.

Marco Rubio looked a little healthier after Iowa, Donald Trump a little less so. A grand total of 2,201 votes separated them. What New Hampshire does Tuesday will change the perceptions a little more. Many of the names on the Texas ballot — which has 13 Republicans and eight Democrats on it — won’t really be in the race by the time voters make their choices.

That’s the clout of the early little states like New Hampshire: They get to tell the big states like Texas who’s still in the running.

Author:  – The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues

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