The Texas Youth Vote Has Soared 500% During This Midterm Election

Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O’Rourke had a heated exchange in their first debate. (NBC)Screengrab/NBC News/YouTube

Voter turnout for Texas youth has increased by 508 percent since 2014, according to early voting data.

The 2018 midterm election appears to have inspired young Texas voters to head to the polls: early voting data shows a 508 percent increase in the youth vote since 2014, according to Newsweek.

This development likely bodes well for Democratic Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke.

> With just one week until the midterm elections, polls indicate that the El Paso Congressman and Texas Senatorial candidate has a five-point gap to bridge in order to catch his competitor, incumbent Senator Ted Cruz. But O’Rourke has long insisted that a large chunk of his supporters, Texans under 30 and Hispanic voters, don’t show up in those polling numbers. New data from Target Smart, a political data firm, would appear to back his claims.

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> In a recent interview, O’Rourke told CBS News that a large turnout would help him because his voters had "just become a citizen, they're 40 years old, they've never voted in an election in their lifetime, but they're voting now. They only vote in presidential years, they're voting in a midterm for the first time. A lot of those folks are not reflected in the polls, but they're reflected at the polling site. And that's what's most important. That's how we win."

Target Smart’s analysis of early voting numbers revealed that over 200,000 first-time voters in Texas have already cast ballots since polls opened last Monday, and Hispanic voter turnout has increased by about 200 percent since 2014.

White voter turnout has gone up by 165 percent in that time, along with an increase of 96 percent for voters over the age of 65.

> Women are so far outvoting men, but that’s not unusual in the state of Texas. Unmarried individuals, however, have increased turnout by 219 percent, typically a good sign for Democrats.

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> A poll released Monday by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government found that 40 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 year-olds will vote this November. That’s almost double the highest rate of midterm election youth turnout, which stood at 21 percent in 1986 and 1994, according to Census data.

More here.

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