Democratic turnout for Tuesday's Texas primary election fell just shy of 2.1 million, surpassing both Republican turnout and the party's own 2016 numbers, the Texas Secretary of State reports
With all precincts counted, 2,076,000 people voted in Texas' Democratic primary, compared to the 2,008,385 who participated in the Republican contest.
On the surface, the numbers look like good news for Democrats. After all, many political observers say the Lone Star State, which hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994, may be swinging purple.
But Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson suggests progressives temper their optimism over the numbers with caution.
Traditionally, the party with an undecided presidential contender — this time, the Democrats — gets a turnout surge. Republicans, meanwhile, already knew President Trump would be their nominee, so they felt less urgency to turn out.
"I think we'll see plenty of excitement on both sides and high turnout from both sides in November," Jillson said.
Even so, progressive groups heralded Tuesday's attendance data as evidence demographic trends and mobilization of young and minority voters are working in their favor.
Analysis of recent election numbers shows Democratic turnout in the state is on an upward trend while Republicans turnout remains flat, said Tara Pohlmeyer, communications manager for Progress Texas.
"Republicans aren't expanding their electorate," she said. "We've seen Republicans, especially in Texas, become the party of Trump, and that's not bringing new voters into the tent."
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