NORTH TEXAS (CBS11) –Democrats in conservative Collin County say they’re encouraged and excited about the Texas primary March 6 and the general election in November.
The primary administrator for the Collin County Democratic Party, David Smith said, “The interest level in this election has been a record high. In fact, this office has been busier this year than it was two years ago during the Presidential election.”
Unlike before, Smith said their office is filled with signs, there are candidates in every non-judicial race, and compared with four years ago, requests for mail-in ballots have increased. “County election department sent out 95 mail-in ballots to people voting in the Democratic Primary. As of last week, there were 2,300 out, and that number is over 3,000 now.”
Dallas County’s GOP Chairwoman Missey Shorey said they too are enthusiastic about 2018. “We respect what’s going on, on the left and that is something that is really waking up our activists.”
Shorey said the Republican National Committee and Republican Party of Texas are sending reenforcements here because they say Democrats are targeting the area.
She said Vice-President Mike Pence’s appearance at their Reagan Day Dinner this past weekend led to record fundraising, $800,000 from the event and 1,400 in attendance, a record.
Shorey said Republicans are energized about tax cuts and the debate over immigration. “That’s why you’re seeing record attendance at the Reagan Day Dinner, that’s why you’re seeing record turn-out in terms of precinct chairs in recent history, and that’s why you’re seeing people ready to get involved whether it be block-walking, using phones, using cutting-edge apps.”
SMU political science professor Cal Jillson predicts the excitement about various political races will boost turnout of the primary from less than 33 percent of eligible voters during a non-Presidential year to 35 percent. “I think it’s going to be higher this time. There’s a lot of energy out there. A lot of it is on the Democratic side, so the Republicans have to keep pace.”
Jillson said President Trump has galvanized Democrats nationwide and here in Texas, where Republicans remain the majority party. “In a primary election, the Republican turnout is usually higher than the Democratic turnout. If the Democrats are even with Republicans, even surpass them, that foretells a good year for Democrats.”
Early voting begins Tuesday, February 20 and continues through Friday, March 2.