Texas Elections 2018

Santa Fe Shooting Casts Pall Over Runoff Elections, Unlikely To Shift Votes

Rice University Political Scientist Bob Stein says most voters made up their minds on the Second Amendment and gun control legislation well before last week’s shootings at Santa Fe High School

Harris County officials are confident the latest judicial development regarding the Texas Voter ID Law will not have a big impact on the November 8th election.

Voters will cast their ballots in Tuesday’s runoff elections with the Santa Fe High School shooting fresh in their minds. But it's unclear whether the attack will influence the outcomes.

As in the first round of primary voting, Republicans and Democrats are competing in separate elections. Political scientist Bob Stein of Rice University says that makes it unlikely a last minute surge in turnout will affect any of the contests.


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"If there's any turnout effect, I suspect it might be on the Democratic side and in some of the more liberal Democratic primaries, and particularly the one between [Lizzie Pannill] Fletcher and [Laura] Moser in the Democratic 7th [Congressional District primary runoff]," Stein says.

Stein says that, if Santa Fe were to affect turnout in that race, it would most likely benefit Laura Moser. Both Moser and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher strongly favor stricter gun control laws, but Moser is widely regarded as the more progressive of the two candidates.

Estimates from the Harris County Clerk's office put the maximum Republican turnout during early voting at 51,093, just over half the level seen during the 2014 midterm primary runoff elections. The clerk's office estimates the maximum Democratic turnout during early voting at 50,047, more than two-and-a-half times the 2014 level.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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