Texas sees huge surge of Democratic voters in first primary of 2018 elections
Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator, answers questions at a rally and town hall meeting at the Old Texas Brewing Company in Burleson on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.(Robert Hart for The Texas Tribune)

We tracked how many Texans turned out to vote early in the 2018 primaries compared with primaries in 2010 and 2014, the last two midterm election years.

Coming off of a highly contested presidential election and with various high-profile statewide and congressional elections on the ballot, over 650,000 Texans voted early in the state’s ten counties with the highest number of registered voters.

Overall, 370,219 Democrats voted early in those ten counties compared to 282,928 Republicans. Four years earlier, Republicans outvoted Democrats in early voting in those ten counties 253,019 to 184,489, respectively. That means Democratic turnout more than doubled from four years ago, while Republican turnout rose less than 15 percent.

When we factor population growth in these ten counties, Republican turnout was largely unchanged, with the percent of the voting-age population voting early remaining on-trend with previous years. Democratic turnout, however, was up in all ten counties except for Hidalgo County, which saw a drop in Democratic voter turnout from 6.1% of the voting age population voting early in 2014, to 5.1% in 2018.

Travis County saw the highest jump in Democratic voter turnout with over 6% of the voting age population, or 56,426 voters, showing up to vote early, a 4 percentage-point increase from the 2014 election.

This page provides two different ways to get a sense of turnout. One set of graphs compares raw in-person turnout with past numbers in the 10 counties with the highest number of registered voters. The other set of graphs takes population growth into account by showing the percentage of each county's voting-age population that showed up to vote each year. Toggle between both sets of graphs to see how early voting turnout fared for both Democrats and Republicans across the state.

Election day in Texas is March 6th. To see all the statewide and legislative races on the ballot, click here.

Harris County Texas voter data

Dallas County voter dataTarrant County voter dataBexar County voter dataTravis CountyCollin County voter turnoutEl Paso County Texas voter turnoutHidalgo County Texas voting dataDenton County Texas voting dataFort Bend County Texas voting data