Press Seriously Botches Texas Early-Voting Coverage, Invents 'Blue Wave' Narrative

March 8th, 2018 12:16 PM

Before Tuesday's Texas primary, the press presented woefully incomplete early-voting data as evidence of a potential Democratic wave.

It was fake news.

Far-left outfits like Vox were excited about an alleged "spike in early Democratic voter turnout" accompanied by a precipitous GOP drop, all of which supposedly had Republicans "spooked." Vox even claimed that Lone Star State Democrats had cast more early-voting ballots:

Republican early voter turnout declined 37 percent compared to 2016, with Democrats casting 45,000 more ballots than Republicans in the early voting period.

Establishment press outlets jumped on the bandwagon (h/t Conservative Review):

  • CBS News, February 26 — "Rep. Beto O'Rourke could mean blue wave hits deep red Texas in Senate race"
  • The Hill, February 27 — "Blue wave may be building in Texas"
  • NPR, March 4 — "In Texas Primary, Early Signs Of A 2018 Democratic Surge"
  • Even a local Dallas-Fort Worth TV station aired a similar story.

If the claim was true, it would have been a shocking development. It wasn't.

The Monday NPR report showed Democrats with an early-voting advantage of 47,000. It also claimed that Democrats had won the early-voting turnout war:




But the footnote seen at the bottom of that graph says otherwise (bold is mine):

The counties included are the ones that the Texas Secretary of State’s Office had available for the past eight years ... They include the 12 most populous counties in Texas, and in total they make up about two-thirds of the population of the state.

The final early-voting tally found at the Secretary of State's office included 15 counties, with Democratic ballots outnumbering Republicans by Vox's reported 45,000 (465K Dems, 420K GOP).

Anyone familiar with Texas politics should know that:

  • It has far more than 15 counties.
  • The results found at the SOS site were therefore incomplete.
  • The political views of voters in the 15 counties whose totals were reported are wildly out of sync with the rest of the state.

A person who worked with Senator Ted Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign straightened things out Wednesday:



Using 800,000 as the GOP total, Republicans cast 80 percent of the early ballots in the state's other 239 counties.

What a letdown it must have been for Democrats deceived by their own media after Tuesday's balloting. With few challengers to entrenched incumbents, Republican turnout topped 1.5 million, while Democrat turnout was roughly 1.07 million.

The Hill  tried to pretend that Dems should be pleased at garnering 40 percent of primary ballots:

... The uptick will likely foster Democratic enthusiasm about the possibility of competing in tough races across Texas this year, even if the party is still outnumbered in the reliably conservative state.

That prospect seems unlikely. In 2002, the last time a Republican president was in his first term, Texas Democrats cast 1.003 million ballots. The state's population has since grown by 30 percent, while 2018 Democratic turnout increased by only 7 percent. That's not evidence of the anti-GOP groundswell the media expects us to blindly accept.

Cross-posted at