A former Texas Republican leader is downplaying the news of a high Democratic voter turnout in Tuesday's primaries.
Democrats in the Lone Star State turned out Tuesday in the largest numbers for a midterm primary election in more than a decade. According to some media reports, they were venting their pent-up anger at President Donald Trump and this first state primary of the 2018 election cycle provided that opportunity.
Their party, however, has emerged winless in statewide races for governor and U.S. senator for more than 20 years, and they face long odds this November of ousting Republicans such as U.S. Senator Ted Cruz – who registered a landslide win over his competitor.
Cathie Adams is a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. She says the reports of massive Democratic turnout were a bit misleading.
"They did turn out in early voting, which Texas has quite a bit," she acknowledges. "But on Election Day, Republicans turned out en mass as much as two to one. So it wasn't quite what the mainstream media was trying to turn it into: that Democrats were all motivated."
As for the reported contempt among Texas Democrats for President Trump, Adams says she has witnessed it – but doesn't see it as beneficial for them in the long run.
"Whether I'm talking to people on a train platform in Bonn, Germany, or whether I am sitting next to a lady during a Facebook interview, there's such hatred toward our president," she shares. "It's very sad to me to think that people could be so motivated by hatred, [but] that is the motivation of the Democrats – and I don't think that that is going to be winning in the end."
However, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston argues that Trump's presence in the White House is motivating a subset of Democratic voters and independents to turn out to vote to express their opposition to the administration. So as it seems to have done in these primaries, Democrats' dissatisfaction with Trump could very well drive them to the polls in November – and in the process play a huge role in how key Republican seats play out in the midterms.