Texas Democrats' executive director: Voter turnout is 'exceeding 2016 levels'

Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Manny Garcia said the early voting numbers in the state have so far surpassed 2016 levels. 

According to data released by the party earlier this week, 82,000 more Texans voted in person this year in the Texas Democratic primary in the most populous 15 counties than four years ago. Garcia said he expects an even bigger push come Super Tuesday.

“It is outstanding, we are exceeding 2016 levels right now, in many places we are out-voting Republicans in the Republican primary,” Garcia said. “We’re also hearing that a lot of committed Democrats who have come primary after primary have actually been waiting to see how Nevada and South Carolina played out and these more recent debates in order to make their decision, so I think you’re going to see a whole rush of folks coming in on Election Day.”

Garcia said much of that growth can be attributed to higher turnout within the party’s Latino and black base. 

“The Latino community is core to the Texas Democratic base, it’s a core to the entire state of Texas and it’s critical for any of the presidential nominees in order to receive delegates from this state,” Garcia said. “When you begin to see Harris County, for example, which is bigger than 20-something states, performs at a high level, it’s because the Latino community and the African American community are turning out at high levels.”

Garcia said Texas distinguishes itself from other primary states by being a diverse electorate with 228 pledged delegates. He said the primary candidates took notice early in the cycle, putting resources into the state that candidates had not in the past. 

“We’ve had a very different treatment from presidential campaigns toward Texas and that’s been consistent the entire election cycle,” he said.