There are more people voting early for this year's Texas primaries than who voted early for the 2016 election.
First-week numbers across North Texas are up for both Republicans and Democrats as voters cast ballots ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday primaries.
Voters from Texas and 13 other states go to the polls, with the Democratic presidential primary generating the most attention nationwide. At home, tens of thousands have already voted.
7,000 more Democrats voted in week one of early voting in Dallas County compared to 2016. More than 5,000 more Republicans early voted as well.
The numbers are even higher in Tarrant County.
Nearly 11,000 more Democrats early voted in week one this year compared to 2016. On the Republican side, the numbers were up by more than 10,000.
“I've rarely seen an election so electric as this one,” said Alan Saxe, retired UTA political science professor.
He said there are a few reasons for the trend, other than early voting is just more convenient. Saxe said the population in North Texas has grown significantly in the last four years. Another reason he says is Republicans are angry from the impeachment of President Donald Trump. The field of Democratic presidential candidates also offers a lot of differences.
“The kinds of people running for office, the Bernie Sanders, the Elizabeth Warren, Donald Trump being president, all that and these are controversial people and I think it has added to the fire,” Saxe said.
Saxe also says Democrats feel more opportunities to be competitive up and down the ballot in Texas than in years past.
“The Democrats want to take it and make it a stronghold and the Republicans want to keep it and both have put in a lot of effort into keeping it or turning it,” Saxe said.
Saxe thinks congressional races, like Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) trying to fend off a challenge from the right and Democrats like Rep. Colin Allred trying to keep his recently flipped Dallas-area district blue, are also bringing voters out.
“The same thing is happening all over the state. There are hot congressional races, mostly on the Republican side, but those down ballot races are important as well,” Saxe said.
Early voting continues through February 28.