Surging Texas early voting may exceed total 2014 turnout

Ted Cruz and wife Heidi at a 'Women for Ted Cruz' rally. (Photo: Circa)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — More than 4.3 million Texans have cast early ballots in the state's 30 largest counties alone, an impressive tally that's within striking distance of the total number of ballots cast statewide during the last midterm elections in 2014.

Data through Thursday from the secretary of state includes counties that are home to nearly 80 percent of Texas' population.

That's compared to the 4.7 million-plus total ballots cast in 2014's top-of-the-ballot Texas governor's race.

Texas have long voted early in greater numbers than on Election Day. Still, because early voting ends Friday night, early turnout in the top 30 counties alone may yet exceed 2014's total turnout.

In the state's much-watched Senate race, both Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O'Rourke say strong turnout benefits them.

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