Things to know about Tuesday's Texas primaries

Beto O'Rourke  YouTube

In what Democrats call Republicans' latest attempt to stymie a potential blue wave in Texas, the Dallas County Republican Party is trying to keep more than 120 Democratic contenders from making it onto the November ballot. We all know what happened. "It is imperative that all Texans wishing to cast a vote start early and undertake the necessary preparations to be able to vote".

Texas Democrats haven't outdone Republicans at this point in the early-voting window in a decade.

Democratic early voting across Texas' 15 most-populous counties, the only figures available, more than doubled that of the last non-presidential cycle in 2014, while the number of Republican early ballots cast increased only slightly.

Democrats remain underdogs to knock off Republican Sen. He's raised far more money ($727,025, according to FEC reports) than any of the other Democratic candidates and out-raised Smith for two quarters before the Republican announced his plans to retire.

"We're seeing the lowest unemployment in 17 years", he said. Voters are showing up in primaries to vote for Democrats.

The tensions will get their next test in Texas with primaries Tuesday. Yet Democrats acknowledged the lively nomination fights could result in victories for candidates with little experience, scant scrutiny or political views that are out of step with general electorate.

The Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party is backing candidates like Laura Moser, whose progressive ideology is well outside the mainstream.

Over time, fear of being "primaried" has made conservative interest groups more powerful, especially the NRA, which grades lawmakers and candidates from A-plus to F on one issue, guns.

We're asking the same question for Republicans. Farenthold's decision to retire came as the House Ethics Committee reopened an investigation into the claims of a former press secretary, Lauren Greene, who settled a federal lawsuit against the congressman in 2015.

An expert on public opinion and political psychology, Wilson says one of the races impacting the area is the Texas House 109.

One race that hasn't attracted a lot of funding, though, is the Democratic primary for governor. Another former Cruz staffer, Jason Wright, is running in Texas' 5th congressional district against seven other Republicans.

"In a midterm election like this, what you normally expect to see is the Republicans' primary turnout might be twice what the Democratic turnout is, so to have the Democrats even with, and even slightly ahead, of Republicans in this midterm election is really extraordinary", Jillson said.

The first 2018 midterm primaries are here in Texas on Tuesday.

"There are 21 contested GOP House primaries".

O'Rourke and Cruz aren't on the same Senate ballot yet, but the primary will be the first test of their standing ahead of their nearly certain Senate matchup in November.

It is an ominous sign for the Republican Party, and more evidence that Trump may be a considerable drag on the ticket in the midterm elections.

Now, O'Rourke is outraising Cruz, while Trump could become a liability for the Republican.

Gruters said guns is a major issue for almost one of five GOP primary voters. That's not likely in deep-red Texas.

But in many states and districts, swing suburbanites - and particularly suburban women - are a much more important constituency than are NRA members because those suburban voters can decide which party wins - just the way anti-gun control voters once could.

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