AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The voter registration deadline on Tuesday will mark an important turning point in the Texas elections.
Who turns out to vote may not change the presidential race, but they will decide who wins many legislative offices.
According to the Texas secretary of state, about 4.5 million Republicans voted in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections. But Democrats have not been as consistent.
In 2004, only 2.8 million Democrats voted for their presidential nominee. But in 2008, 3.5 million Democrats turned out for President Barack Obama.
The extra 700,000 votes changed the Legislature. In 2004, Democrats took 54 out of 150 seats in the Texas House. But that number jumped to 74 seats after 2008.
When registration and turnout dropped in 2010, Republicans took 101 seats.
Chris Tomlinson is the supervisory correspondent in Austin, responsibile for political and government reporting in Texas.