AUSTIN, Texas - There have been months of campaign commercials to get to this day. The midterm election on Tuesday is finally here.
Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, and Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County Republican Party, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.
MIKE WARREN: A lot of polling has been favorable for Republicans this time. What do you think of the polling so far? Do you trust it?
MATT: Yeah, not very much. And I think there was a story day. I forget where I saw it about how long the pollsters and prognosticators aren't real confident either. Know I do know that if you look historically, there are certain data points that are predictive in midterm elections. The president's job approval is one. The state of the economy is another. At the end of the day, it always comes down to the issues that the voters care about. Political candidates and political parties may try to educate voters. They may try to persuade voters. They may even try to make them believe that other issues are more important than the ones the voters say are important. In this case, I think Republicans have the wind at their back, Mike, because we are talking about the issues that the polls consistently show are at the top of everyone's concerns the economy, inflation, crime in our cities and the border crisis. So I think in the end, that's why we're going to do very well on Tuesday.
MIKE WARREN: Okay, Katie, talking about the polling in leading up to this election. What do you make of it? Do you trust it? Is it going to be reliable or something else?
KATIE: Polling has always been unpredictable, especially in the last couple of cycles here in Texas and across the country. I think we're going to see some exciting surprises tomorrow night, and I'm looking forward to those, particularly when you look at who has actually voted. Millions of Texans have already voted. And that's right. The issues that they care about. It would be great if in Texas, Republicans had a plan for the economy or immigration, but they don't. When it comes to climate change, there's also no plan. And they've so far taken away rights of women to make decisions with their physicians as well as folks to have bodily autonomy when it comes to raising your children, to be happy and who they are. And so voters have an opportunity to make their voices heard between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. tomorrow night.
MIKE WARREN: Okay. Now let's talk predictions and prognostications. Matt, of all the races out there, what do you think could be the big surprise if you want to make any predictions?
MATT: Well, I think in Travis County, we're excited to see how Rupal Chaudhari does for Travis County judge. She's, I believe, outraised the incumbent, something I don't remember ever happening at a countywide office. She's an outstanding small business owner from a really active campaign and very, very well. We're excited to see how she does. I think if you look across the state, if you look at the three congressional races in south Texas with rising star Latino candidates on the Republican side, I think Monica de la Cruz is highly likely to win. We'll see if Cassie Garcia and Myra Flores when they're right, right, right there. In striking distance, you might have as many as three freshmen members of Congress, all representing the border and south Texas Republicans. That's going to be a big story to watch.
MIKE WARREN: Katie Naranjo, predictions, possible surprises that you think are going to happen?
KATIE: Absolutely. At the state level, there are three surprises that we are looking at. And again, it's about who has turned out and voted. And so far, Democrats are outperforming our expectations, even though turnout across the state is low and Republicans are staying home. And so I think you have an indicted that are under federal investigation. Attorney General Ken Paxton, who all of his lieutenants resigned because of the corruption in the attorney general's office. So Michel Garza is a look to pick up there. You have the lieutenant governor's race right where Mike Collier has been receiving endorsements from Republican officials across the state. And Dan Patrick basically suggested that the way to solve COVID is to have your grandparent die. And then, of course, the governor's race where Beto O'Rourke has continued to outraise Governor Abbott and continues to go across the state in terms of campaigning and getting votes.
MIKE WARREN: Okay. Alright. Well, we're all going to find out tomorrow, the big day. Matt, Katie, thank you both very much.