COVID Cases and Hospitalizations
New infections continue a slow and steady decline with 950 cases reported by the state yesterday. This is down from the 1,000 reported one week ago. Hospitalizations are remaining steady. The state is reporting 974 people hospitalized with COVID illness. That is down slightly from the 979 reported one week ago.
Election Day Tomorrow — Early Voting Final Numbers
Early voting for tomorrow’s election ended on Friday evening. Statewide, roughly 5.5 million voted either in person or by mail, which is down from the 6 million that voted early for the 2018 election. In the past three mid-term cycles – when Texas elects its Governor and all other statewide officials – about 2.3 million cast their ballots on election day. If this historical trend holds, then Texas will see around 8 million total votes cast in this year’s election. This falls short of the 8.3 million that voted in 2018 and far below the initial 9.5 to 10 million voters predicted by the Secretary of State prior to the early voting period.
Tomorrow, the polls will be open from 7AM to 7PM. All statewide offices are on the ballot, including Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Agriculture Commissioner, and Land Commissioner. All Texas House and Texas Congressional seats are on the ballot, as those offices are always two-year terms. Due to redistricting, all Texas Senate districts are on the ballot. Neither of the two US Senate seats are up for reelection this year. US Senator Ted Cruz will be up for reelection in 2024.
For all information related to voting, including how to find out if you are registered and how to find your polling location, follow this link: https://www.votetexas.gov/index.html
I am also attaching a document that contains the candidates for all statewide races, the Texas Senate and Texas House, as well as the 38 Texas Congressional seats.
Heading into the final week, election reports showed that Democrat Beto O’Rourke had outraised Gov. Abbott for the third consecutive reporting period. In the month of October – which was the subject of the most recent report required to be filed by the candidates – O’Rourke raised $10.5 million compared to $9 million for Abbott. With one more report to come covering the last week before election day, this gubernatorial campaign has become the most expensive in Texas history. Together, the candidates have raised over $230 million for their campaigns.
It seems however that all the money that O’Rourke has raised may not be enough to overcome the two-term incumbent. Recent polls how Abbott consistently leading O’Rourke. All recent polls released show Abbott with a lead, and a lead that is growing as election day nears. A poll by UT-Tyler showed Abbott leading by 6 points, and a poll by the UT Politics Projects showed Abbott with an 11 point lead. The latest poll done by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs showed Abbott with a 13 point lead.
For the third time this year, Republican incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton has failed to disclose his campaign donors. The recent reports mentioned above covering the period of September 30th-October 29th were due last Monday. Paxton filed an incomplete report that showed he raised $2.4 million during the reporting period, but the report did not include the names of the individual donors, as is required by Texas law. Paxton also failed to file timely reports with donor names on two occasions earlier this year, including during the lead up to the Republican primary in March. This adds to Paxton’s series of legal and ethical issues hanging over his tenure, including a seven-year old felony indictment on securities fraud charges as well as an ongoing FBI investigation brought forth by former aides accusing him of bribery and corruption. He has also been accused of adultery and abuse of office by his former staffers at the Attorney General’s office. However, it doesn’t seem to matter. Paxton has been consistently leading his Democrat opponent, Rochelle Garza, in all recent polls released.
State Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican from Arlington, announced on Friday that he is going to challenge incumbent and fellow Republican Speaker Dade Phelan for the House’s top leadership post. Tinderholt is considered one of the most conservative members of the House, and said he is running to ensure no Democratic members are appointed as committee chairs next session. Even though the Republicans have a substantial majority in the Texas House, tradition holds that there are a nominal number of members from the minority party that are appointed chairs of the committees. Tinderholt argues that having members of the Democrat party in positions of power hinders the agenda of the Republican party to pass its priority legislation. In his announcement, Tinderholt gave no details of exactly what legislation to which he was referring. Phelan, from Orange, has not officially announced his intentions, but it is widely expected that he will seek his second term as Speaker when the legislature convenes in January.
Election day is tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 8th. With the election season coming to a conclusion, preparations for the biennial session of the Texas Legislature will begin. On Monday, November 14th, members and members-elect will be allowed to pre-file legislation to be considered during the session.
The session begins on Tuesday, January 10th and lasts for 140 days.