Early voter turnout in this year’s midterm election in Texas has reportedly surpassed the total voter turnout in the state’s 2014 midterm election.
According to The Texas Tribune, over 4.5 million people in Texas cast in-person ballots in this year’s early voting period and more than 360,000 people have cast mail-in ballots in 30 counties alone.
Of those counties, which the Tribune noted is where the vast majority of registered voters in the state reside, nearly 40 percent of the 12.3 million residents in those counties that are registered vote have already done so.
The preliminary data gathered from those counties via the Texas secretary of state's office show that in the 12 days of early voting in the state, those 30 counties already surpassed voter turnout from not only the previous midterm election in 2014 but also early voting turnout for the 2012 presidential election in the state.
The report comes as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz continues to face a tough reelection challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke in the closely watched Texas Senate race.
O’Rourke said on Friday that he believes the massive turnout of voters indicates he may be on the verge of becoming the first Democrat to be elected to statewide office in Texas in over 20 years.
"If North Texas continues to turn out in the record numbers that we've seen, shattering every midterm total for as long as we've been looking at them, in some cases rivaling presidential voter turnout, then we're going to win this race," O'Rourke said after a rally Friday, according to The Dallas Morning News.
"The best thing I can do is continue to be with the people of North Texas, just as we have been for almost the last two years,” he continued.
Though Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate in decades, a number of polls have pointed to a narrowing margin between both candidates.