WACO, Texas (KWTX) – A local political analyst and McLennan Community College professor is expecting high voter turnout ahead of Election Day because of the list of popular state and local elections.
“There are many experts who expect a very high turnout in this midterm election,” said Ashley Kruseturner.
One of the prominent races that lead to high turnout is the gubernatorial race. Polls ahead of early voting showed incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke had the most support of the four contenders.
But when it comes to who wins, Cruzturner says there are many factors at play.
“Greg Abbott is now a long-serving governor,” he said. “For him to be re-elected governor could really change the national landscape.”
Abbott is running for a third term as governor of Texas. Cruzturner said Abbott has increased his national profile during his tenure. He also said that people who are currently satisfied with Texas are more likely to favor Abbott.
“If we re-elect the governor of Texas, I think we can expect Texas to look almost exactly like we’ve expected Texas to look for the past quarter century,” he said.
“If the Democrat wins, it will be an earthquake in Texas,” he said. “If we were to upset the Democrats, then we could foresee, at least on the surface, big fights and maybe some changes in the direction of Texas.”
Cruzturner noted O’Rourke’s very high name recognition. He was a member of the House of Representatives in Texas. He also came close to a seat in the US Senate and won the presidential election in late 2019.
“They’re going out for the guy, and that’s a thermometer … how well can Democrats do in Texas?” Cruzturner said. “It is difficult to imagine. Whatever Beto achieves, and who knows, he might win, it’s hard to imagine another candidate energizing the Democratic base the way Beto is doing in Texas right now.
Nationally, there’s a lot at stake for Congress. During midterm elections, all seats in the US House of Representatives can be up for grabs by a different party.
While most congressional districts are uncontested in central Texas, Kruseturner says the results of congressional races will have a big impact for the next few years.
Democrats now control the upper house; But, according to Cruzturner, Republicans only need to pick up five seats to control the House.
“When party control of the House changes, that means the other party controls all the committees, so we’re going to have more House members in the Texas delegation who are going to have more prominent roles in leadership positions,” he said. .
Therefore, if Republicans win the majority, Texans in the House of Representatives will have more power to pass legislation.
However, there are concerns that if Republicans pass the legislation, Democratic President Joe Biden will veto it. Kruseturner said the way they can break the partisan barrier and get useful legislation passed is for them to work together with Democrats to find common ground.
“You could envision a situation where Republicans in the legislature and Democrats and the executive branch work together, maybe find some common ground and come up with some things that more people can agree on,” he said.
Election day is tomorrow and people can go to the polling stations that are closest to them. You can find your nearest polling place Here.
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