If you’re Beto O’Rourke, this is great news.
If you’re Ted Cruz, go bob for Hot Pockets in the nearest deep-fryer, then slather the remains of your head in kung pao sauce.
Early voting data from Texas shows a 508 percent growth in the youth vote since 2014, which is likely good news 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 5-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.
Only in Texas — or on some bizarro planet where having the natural charisma of Andre the Giant’s pubic mane earns you votes — could a guy like Ted Cruz beat a guy like Beto O’Rourke. I mean, he’s essentially the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang without the droll wit or lollipops.
Then again, maybe Cruz won’t win after all. All along, O’Rourke has been betting on a big turnout, and despite recent polling that shows Cruz with an edge over his challenger, those polls are presumably not taking into account a turnout that could wildly exceed expectations:
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.”
In an analysis of early voting numbers, Target Smart found that more than 200,000 people have already voted for the first time in Texas and the number of Hispanic voters has increased by more than 200 percent since 2014. Polls have been open since last Monday.
Needless to say, if Beto wins, we have a great chance of taking back the Senate.