Texas Primary Kicks Off Voting for 2018 Elections

Democrats are eagerly watching districts that could turn blue.

The Texas primary on Tuesday marks the first actual voting of the 2018 midterm elections, and Democrats are already licking their chops.

The Democratic party has many more political candidates running this year on both the federal and state level, and early voting suggests a record turnout for the minority party.

“Texas is the nation’s bellwether right now,” said the communications director for the Texas Democratic Party, Tariq Thowfeek. “It’s a good gauge of the incredible progressive energy we have across the country in a state that is ranked at the bottom of the barrel in voter turnout.”

President Trump encouraged Texans to vote for Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“They are helping me to Make America Great Again! Vote early or on March 6th,” the president tweeted last week.

The four GOP candidates are all expected to easily snag the Republican nominations in their campaigns.

Ted Cruz is still heavily favored to keep his Senate seat, but long shot Democratic challenger Representative Beto O’Rourke did raise more money than Cruz last quarter. Texas senator John Cornyn is not up for re-election until 2020 and plans to run again.

Democrats have 111 Democratic U.S. House candidates from all 36 Texas congressional districts, more than in previous years. Republicans currently control 25 of the districts, Democrats 11.

Three Republican representatives are defending their seats in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

The Democrats also have state-level candidates in 132 of the 150 state house districts and in all but one of the 15 state senate districts up for election.