Voter Registration Surge Along I-35 in Texas Could Bring Good News for Democrats

click to enlarge Voters waited in line to cast their ballots at Lion's Field in San Antonio during the 2018 midterms. - SANFORD NOWLIN
Sanford Nowlin
Voters waited in line to cast their ballots at Lion's Field in San Antonio during the 2018 midterms.
While Texas Democrats may be smarting from Eliz Markowitz's recent special election loss, some recent number crunching by the Express-News might cheer them up.

Over the past four years, the Lone Star State added more voters in the 22 counties along Interstate 35 — the corridor connecting most of its big population centers — than in its other 232 other counties combined, the daily reports.

That's important because those urban areas, including San Antonio, are oases of blue in an otherwise red state, and trends show their suburbs veering away from the GOP. The 12 seats the Dems flipped in the Texas Legislature in 2018, were mostly in districts along I-35.

What's more, the Express-News points out, Democratic turnout along the corridor helped Beto O’Rourke come within a couple of points of unseating Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018.

At the same time as big-city voter registrations increased, they fell or stayed flat in Republican-leaning counties around the Panhandle and South and East Texas, according to the analysis.

The numbers suggest Democrats' unprecedented registration efforts in the Lone Star State may be paying off and could help the party fulfill its goal of flipping the Texas House. But the results won't be clear until November.

After all, there's still miles and miles of red on the Texas map.

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