Texas Dem’s viral campaign video closes in on 1.9 million views on Youtube


When early voting polls in Maryland closed on June 21st, approximately 221,000 ballots had been cast. That is a 56% increase from the 2014 primary early voting numbers.

This primary season, 7 percent of eligible voters in Maryland voted early. 2010 was the first time early voting was allowed in Maryland during a primary and only 2.4 percent of eligible voters took advantage of it.

Of the 2,143,288 eligible Democratic voters, 170,356 opted to vote ahead of election day (7.9 percent) while only 47,736 of the 1,003,153 Republican voters casted their ballot early (4.8 percent) .

Mileah Kromer, Director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, told wtop “We won’t know until Election Day whether this is an increase in new voters or a redistribution of voters — folks who would have voted on Election Day, but then decided to take up the convenience of early voting.” She also cautioned against crediting this surge to increased voter enthusiasm until the polls close tomorrow. 

Texas House Democratic candidate MJ Hegar got quite a bit of attention last week when she released a web video portraying the different stages of her life through a series of opening and closing doors. 

The cleverly-shot three and a half minute video outlines her escape from an abusive household, her career in the Air Force and her efforts to push the Pentagon to change its policy excluding women from ground combat. 

Hegar describes “opening, pushing, and sometimes kicking through every door that was in my way” in the spot, which has been called one of the best of the cycle and has even won praise from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Hegar is challenging GOP Rep. John Carter, who has held the seat for more than a decade. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates this race as “Likely Republican.”

The ad has now been viewed nearly 1.9 million times on Youtube. You can check it out below.

In the highly anticipated Senate race in Texas, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is ahead of Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke by five points, a new poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune finds.

The poll released Monday found that 41 percent of Texans say they support Cruz, compared with 36 percent who are backing O’Rourke. Another two percent support Libertarian Neal Dikeman and 20 percent said they would either vote for someone else (3 percent) or said they have not thought about it yet (17 percent).

The race for Texas governor is not as close. In this survey, Republican incumbent Greg Abbott had 44 percent of the vote while his Democrat challenger, Lupe Valdez, had 32 percent.  

The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll was conducted in June 2018  and has a margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points.

A record 68 percent of registered voters say that party control of Congress will be one of the top factors in their decision when they head to the polls in November, a new poll from the Pew Research Center finds.

What’s more, for 60 percent of voters, casting their ballot will serve explicitly as a referendum either for (26 percent) or against (34 percent) President Donald Trump. That’s also a record in the history of Pew’s polling.

The poll’s findings underscore the stakes for the 2018 midterms, as Trump faces down the first midterm cycle of his polarizing presidency.

With a tense political climate also comes record high enthusiasm from both Democratic and Republican voters with  51 percent of registered voters expressing increased interest in these elections; that is the highest it has been in at least 20 years. 

Unlike in some midterm cycles, in which one party records much higher enthusiasm ahead of the midterm contests, Republican voters’ enthusiasm is not far behind their Democratic counterparts. Fifty-five percent of those favoring Democratic control of Congress say they’re more enthusiastic than usual about the midterms than usual, versus 50 percent of those who favor a Republican-led Congress who say the same.

The Pew Research Center also found that voters want candidates to discuss immigration and health care, with 19 percent of registered voters stating immigration is a top priority for them.

The live-caller Pew survey was conducted June 5-12 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. 

Democrats on Wednesday received some good polling news for key 2018 Senate races, with their incumbents ahead in West Virginia and Wisconsin.

In West Virginia, a Monmouth poll shows Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., leading Republican Patrick Morissey among likely voters assuming a standard midterm turnout (50 percent to 43 percent), as well as assuming a Democratic surge (51 percent to 42 percent).

And in Wisconsin, a Marquette Law School poll has Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., ahead of GOP challengers Leah Vukmir (49 percent to 40 percent among registered voters) and Kevin Nicholson (50 percent to 39 percent).

For the August GOP primary, Nicholson gets 37 percent to Vukmir’s 32 percent.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who’s up for re-election in November, has a job rating of 49 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove.

Among the Democrats vying for the nomination to take Walker on, State Superintendent Tony Evers earned 25 percent with none of the other nine (yes, nine) gubernatorial candidate breaking single digits. A third of Democratic primary voters remain undecided. 

(The Monmouth poll was conducted June 14-19, and it has an overall margin of error at 3.8 percentage points. The Marquette Law poll was conducted June 13-17, and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 4.0 percentage points.) 

Yesterday, we took a look at the ad spending (TV, radio) in the top Senate contests.

And today, we took a look at the ad spending in some of the key gubernatorial races in the country. 

Check it out here:

The Democratic National Committee has whittled down the list of cities it is considering to host the party’s 2020 national convention to four cities, the DNC announced Wednesday. 

The finalists for the July 13-16 presidential nominating convention are: Denver, Houston, Milwaukee, and Miami Beach, Florida. 

Monday was the deadline for cities to submit proposals to the DNC, after which four cities on an earlier list were removed from consideration. Those removed included: New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Birmingham, Alabama. 

The decision process is expected to take months, with party officials beginning site visits later this summer and into the fall. Denver hosted Democrats’ 2008 convention, when they officially nominated Barack Obama for the first time. 

Less than five months until Election Day, Democrats are outspending Republicans over the TV and radio airwaves in the most competitive Senate contests, according to ad-spending data from Advertising Analytics.

The one exception, however, is in Florida, where Republicans and Rick Scott have outspent Democrats and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., by nearly a 5-to-1 ratio, $17.2 million to $3.1 million. (But that’s down from the GOP’s nearly 50-to-1 advantage a month ago.)

Here’s the ad-spending data as of June 18, 2018: 

Here at the NBC News political unit, we see a lot of campaign ads. 

So, we’ll just .. present this one (from Minnesota Democratic Senate candidate Richard Painter) without comment, because it’s … well, it’s something. 

A new poll from Monmouth University finds Democrats with a 7 point lead over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot, which is virtually unchanged from the poll’s late April findings. 

The poll finds that 48 percent of registered voters prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, while 41 percent say they prefer the Republican.

The latest poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal found that 50 percent of registered voters want Democrats to control Congress after the midterm elections, while 40 percent of voters chose Republicans. 

The Monmouth poll also found that approval of the president’s signature tax reform bill is down since earlier this spring. Just 34 percent of covers say they approve of the plan, compared to 40 percent who said the same in April. 

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