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A Tale Of Two Election Turnout Numbers – Ryan Data vs TargetSmart

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been watching the turnout numbers religiously in anticipation of who will win the elections next week. The question is, which numbers are we supposed to watch? Of course, there is the total early voter turnout by the Secretary of State (which shows a total of 4,758,765 Texans have voted as of yesterday).

Then, two data firms are putting out the numbers of WHO voting, Republicans or Democrats. Those two firms are Ryan Data and TargetSmart. A Republican runs Ryan Data, and TargetSmart is rumored to have a Democratic slant.

They are on opposite sides of the spectrum, so we must look at both numbers, realizing each might have its own partisan slant, and perhaps we believe it’s somewhere in the middle.

Ryan Data

According to Ryan Data, the makeup of the current turnout is:

Republican Primary voters – 43%
Democratic Primary voters – 31%
Voters with no primary election history – 27%

Where that puts us with the current turnout:

Republican Primary voters – 2,046,268
Democratic Primary voters – 1,475,217
Voters with no primary election history – 1,292,156

That means that according to Ryan Data, if 73% of the voters with no primary history vote for Democrats, Texas goes blue.

This is a higher number (73%) than Ryan Data’s previous year’s voters with no primary history, meaning it would be hard to obtain.

Target Smart

According to TargetSmart, the makeup of the current turnout is:

Republican – 44.8%
Democrat – 39.9%
Unaffiliated – 15.3%

Where that puts us with the current turnout:

Republican – 2,131,926
Democrat – 1,898,747
Unaffiliated – 728,091

That means that according to TargetSmart, if 67% of the voters who are unaffiliated vote for Democrats, Texas goes blue.

This is a lower number (67%) than TargetData’s previous year’s unaffiliated, meaning it would be easy to obtain.

We’re still waiting on today’s early voting numbers and Tuesday’s turnout, so this is subject to change.

How do they determine who a Republican or Democratic voter is?

They look at who voted in which previous primary and various key demographics. It’s not a perfect science, and nothing is set in stone, but it gives us a good idea of what’s going on and who’s showing up.

Likely the most accurate numbers are somewhere in between, and Democrats are still looking good to flip Texas this year (but I’m optimistic).

If you haven’t voted yet, get your butt to the polls.

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