Texas' early votes exceed total cast in 2014 election

A sign directs voters to a Texas primary election polling site on the University of Texas campus

A sign directs voters to a Texas primary election polling site on the University of Texas campus

Or will O'Rourke galvanize first-time and young voters enough to turn Texas blue?

State data show that more than 540,000 people in those 30 counties voted early on Friday, which was the last day of early voting in the state. He foresees a blue wave-but not a tsunami.

Voting underway as Donald Trump faces litmus test
Victories in contested races across Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota gave them cause for optimism. McAdams believes that Democrats failed to offer an " alternative narrative " and that might hurt them at the ballot box.

The early voting numbers are giving a boost of optimism to O'Rourke supporters, who are seeing it as a sign that he may very well come out on top in the closely watched race against Cruz.

Almost 4.9 million people voted in Texas' 30 largest counties during the early-voting period, surpassing the total number of votes cast throughout the state in the last midterm election, according to secretary of state figures released Saturday. In total 4,514,930 Texans have cast in-person ballots and 369,598 cast mail-in ballots, according to the Texas Tribune. O'Rourke is heading to El Paso to finish an underdog campaign that drew national attention and took him through each of Texas' 254 counties. Texas is a deeply red state that has moved further and further to the right since George W. Bush defeated Ann Richards, the sitting Democratic governor, in a stunning upset that put Republicans firmly in control of the Lone Star State 24 years ago.

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