Low Turnout, Zero Drama Seen in Today's Primary Runoff

If your doctor has advised you to avoid crowds, the place to be today will be a polling place for the runoff primary election, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Turnout in most precincts around the state in early voting has been in th 2% range and voters decide the races where nobody got 50% of the vote plus one in the March primary.

Mark Jones, a political analyst at Rice University, tells 1200 WOAI news that one reason turnout is so low is that Democrats, despite all their 'blue wave' bluster, still don't want to run their best candidates and risk having them trampled in November in what remains a strongly Republican state

."We aren't seeing Mike Rawlings, we are not seeing Julian Castro or Joaquin Castro take up the Democratic mantle to run against Greg Abbott," he said.  "That chore has been taken up by Lupe Valdez and Andrew White in what is going to be a dramatic loss for Democrats."

He points out that, despite months of glowing profiles and nationwide talk that Democrat Beto O'Rourke was going to defeat the 'hated' Senator Ted Cruz in Texas, Cruz ended up getting half-again as many votes in an uncontested primary where Republicans didn't even have to cast a ballot as O'Rourke got in a hot primary election.

Jones says what Valdez and White are fighting for in today's election is the right to get steamrolled by Abbott in November.

"The winner has no possibility whatsoever of winning in November," Jones said.  "So the lucky winner today gets to campaign on until November with the certain fact that they are going to lose."

He says the only question in the governor's race in November is whether Abbott, who is by far the most popular statewide elected officials in Texas and has a massive campaign bank account at his disposal, will 'win by 10, 15, or 20 points.'

That would actually be a come-down for Abbott, who defeated the equally highly touted Wendy Davis by 21 percentage points in 2014.

Locally, a couple of primary runoff races will be decided.  There are runoffs in both the Democrat and Republican primaries to decide who will face each other in November for the Congressional seat of the retiring Congressman Lamar Smith, and two Republicans are fighting for the right to become the front-runner to succeed the retiring Joe Straus for State Representative in the Alamo Heights area.

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