A Small Subset of Voters Holds a Lot of Sway

In modern-day Texas, the election that matters is usually the Republican primary.

The winners who emerge from Tuesday’s Republican primary and subsequent May 27 runoff elections will in most cases be the prohibitive favorites to win in November.

But the low turnout in the statewide primaries and the dominance of the Republican party in winning statewide elections — about 8 percent of the voting age population cast ballots in the 2012 primaries — means that a small subset of the state’s electorate holds considerable influence. Democrats have not won a statewide race since 1994.

Estimates vary on what turnout will ...

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