Say this for the state’s new voter ID law — it gave Texas Democrats a patsy for the thumping they got on election night. Some Democrats blamed the law for keeping their voters at home last week. At the same time, another type of voting was growing — one that is historically more likely to result in election fraud. In his bid for re-election last week, Senator John Cornyn finished 27.2 percentage points ahead of his Democratic opponent, David Alameel. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who led every public poll conducted during the race for governor, proved those surveys right, finishing more than 20 percentage points ahead of the much-vaunted Wendy Davis, a Democrat. Mr. Abbott finished with more raw votes and a higher percentage of the total than Gov. Rick Perry in 2010. Ms. Davis finished with both a lower percentage of the vote than her 2010 counterpart, Bill White, a Democrat, and a lower vote count. The overall number of votes cast in this year’s election was less than in 2010 — by about 271,000. Although that appears to be part of a national trend, Texas Democrats blamed the state’s voter ID law, which they say discourages people from showing up.
Texas turnout, already the worst in the country, dropped. The state’s population is larger than it was in 2010. More than 14 million Texans registered to vote, according to the secretary of state — up from 13.3 million in 2010. Turnout that year was 37.5 percent. Turnout this year (the numbers are unofficial) was 33.6 percent.
The people who did not show up appear to be Democrats. The Republican numbers were up in the governor’s race, while the Democratic numbers were way down.
At a post-election discussion last week, Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, suggested the voter ID law might be to blame for the decline, implying that Democrats are more numerous among non-voters than Republicans. His opposite on the Republican side — Steve Munisteri — guffawed at that, instead crediting his own party’s turnout efforts, the state’s recent voting history and the national trend against Democrats.