SAN ANTONIO – Early voting is over — and Election Day is Tuesday. However, many still have questions about what is on the ballot.
Professor Jon Taylor, the political science department head at the University of Texas San Antonio, joined Leading SA to explain what’s happened and the possible outcomes.
“You’ve got what’s called the blue spine, which is the Democratic base basically along I-35. Then on the west side of I-35, you have what’s called the red wall, which extends all the way almost to El Paso, which is the area in West Texas, especially rural Texas. That tends to be the heart of Republican voting. We are seeing lower early voting in both of these areas. So it’s a real guess as to what’s going to happen,” Professor Taylor said.
Although a total of 358,188 people casted their ballots in Bexar County during early elections, it is down from the 2018 midterms.
Professor Taylor detailed why we may be down compared to the 2018 midterms.
“Well, a couple of reasons come into play. One, we don’t have a Senate race, a really competitive Senate race, as we did in 18. Additionally, because you have really, really tight Senate races in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and elsewhere, the money in the interest is going there. The result is, is that honestly, there’s the other angle here too, I should notice. Note is this Beto O’Rourke and Greg Abbott are known quantities. People are not excited necessarily because they’ve seen them on the ballot several times. So there’s just not as much enthusiasm for whatever reason, which seems odd given the issues and the questions that come into play,” Professor Taylor said.
One of the most talked about races is for Texas Governor, where polls have varied.
“Most of the other polls suggest anywhere between a 4 to 5 point race, maybe six point race. In fact, Lieutenant Governor Patrick himself admitted just the other day in West Texas that their internal polls, which means the Abbott internal polls as well, suggest a much closer race. And that would be indicative of why Abbott and Patrick have been campaigning so hard in places like Amarillo and Lubbock and Odessa,” Professor Taylor said.
Professor Taylor said there are a lot of questions he is ready to see answered after November 8.
“Obviously, the county judge is race, the district attorney’s race. But there’s another one I think people need to be watching as well. And that’s House District 118 between John Lujan and Frank Ramirez that wants a rematch of the special election took place last year. That will be an indication of a Republican strength and a Republican potentially wave that takes place in Texas. Why? Because that’s a district that traditionally has been relatively democratic. It leans a bit Republican. Now. A ton of money has been poured in by the Republicans in that race. So if Lujan wins, Republicans might actually strengthen their majority in the state House,” Professor Taylor said.
Election day is Tuesday, but that does not mean we learn who the winners are on Tuesday.
“It just takes a while to count votes. And in the case of Texas. People need to realize when we’re counting votes, we’re talking about two time zones at the El Paso area is in the mountain time zone, which means we are slow just for that reason. Harris County being the biggest county, the state is notoriously slow. And a lot of it has to do with just the sheer number of precincts within that county. And so it ends up being a case where we are slow to the point that we really don’t know a lot of election results in the next day,” Professor Taylor said.
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