AUSTIN (AP) – Democratic turnout for Texas’ primary has exceeded primary midterm vote totals not seen since 1994, when the party was beginning its slide into the political wilderness in a state that had for decades been a Democratic stronghold. More than 1,036,950 voters cast ballots for the U.S. Senate race in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, the party’s highest midterm primary election total in at least 24 years. Republicans also set a new non-presidential year primary turnout record, exceeding 1.5 million votes Tuesday.
Democrats haven’t won a statewide office in Texas since 1994. But conservative Democrats dominated Texas politics in the 1970s and 1980s, and 1994 marked a key time when state political dominance flipped. Republicans remain favored to hold all Texas statewide offices in November. Democratic primary voters said they were energized by frustrations with President Donald Trump. But many Republicans embraced Trump.