UPDATE 7:52 a.m.: Here is a spreadsheet with selected results:

UPDATE 12:58 a.m.: 

Texas House Representative Tan Parker won with a final total of 67.16 percent. He spoke at an earlier Denton County Republican watch party and said he was delighted to have a wonderful victory.

“[Denton County] is the beacon for Republican politics in this state,” Parker said. “We need to keep redoubling our efforts every single year. I just want to thank you all for all you do.” 

At the same event, Republican Michael Burgess for Congressional District 26 addressed the crowd with a victory speech.

“We got a big night to celebrate here in Denton County,” Burgess said to a cheering crowd. “Thank you for letting me serve. I’m looking forward to an interesting two years ahead.”

For Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 in Denton County, Republican candidate James Kerbow beat Democrat Marianne Poer Vander Stoep with an overall 54.79 percent to 45.21 percent.

UPDATE 12:28 a.m.: 

Democratic candidate Michelle Beckley has won Texas House District 65. With 100 percent of Denton County’s precincts now reported in, Beckley held the majority vote with a final total of 51.13 percent.

Beckley beat Republican incumbent Ron Simmons, who had served since 2013. He received 48.86 percent of the final vote.

Beckley is the first Democratic House Representative in this district in years.

UPDATE 11:37 p.m.: 

Nearly 89 percent of the votes in Denton County’s precincts have been counted.

For Texas House District 65, Democratic candidate Michelle Beckley holds a tight lead with 50.79 percent.

Races have been called in favor of Republican incumbents Lt. Gov Dan Patrick and Att. Gen Ken Paxton, although they defeated their Democratic opponents with just single digits. Patrick holds the narrow majority vote with 51.79 percent. Paxton stands with 51.09 percent. About 77 percent of the state’s precincts have been reported.

In Texas House District 106, Republican incumbent Jared Patterson holds a strong lead with 58.64 percent. In Texas House District 115, Democratic candidate Julie Johnson seems poised to upset Republican incumbent Matt Rinaldi. Johnson still leads with 56.24 percent.

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.:  Current summary of races of interest:

U.S. Senator:  Called for Ted Cruz, R – currently 51.81 %

U.S. Rep, Dist 24: Kenny Marchant, R leading with 52.00 %

U.S. Rep, Dist 26: Called for Michael Burgess, R with 59.86%

Governor: Called for Greg Abbott, R – currently 56.41%

Lt. Gov: Dan Patrick, R leading with 51.93%

Att. Gen: Ken Paxton, R leading with 51.33%

Other statewides for Republicans with 53% plus.

State Rep., Dist 63: Called for Tan Parker, R with 67.57%

State Rep., Dist 64: Called for Lynn Stucky, R with 53.61%

State Rep., Dist 65: Michelle Beckley, D leads with 50.42%

State Rep., Dist 106: Jared Patterson, R leads with 58.57%

State Rep., Dist 115: Julie Johnson, D leads with 56.24%

Denton County – with 62% reporting:

County Judge:  Called for Andy Eads with 57.89%

Commish, Pct.2: Ron Marchant leads with 49.28%

Commish, Pct. 4: Called for Dianne Edmondson with 61.61%

JP, Pct 3: Called for James Kerbow with 55.62%

UPDATE 9:30 p.m.:  Current summary of races of interest:

U.S. Senator:  Called for Ted Cruz, R – currently 51.37 %

U.S. Rep, Dist 24: Kenny Marchant, R leading with 51.8 %

U.S. Rep, Dist 26: Called for Michael Burgess, R with 60.02%

Governor: Called for Greg Abbott, R – currently 56.38%

Lt. Gov: Dan Patrick, R leading with 52.00%

Att. Gen: Ken Paxton, R leading with 51.31%

Other statewides for Republicans with 53% plus.

State Rep., Dist 63: Called for Tan Parker, R with 67.19%

State Rep., Dist 65: Michelle Beckley, D leads with 50.57%

Denton County – with 41% reporting:

County Judge:  Called for Andy Eads with 57.89%

Commish, Pct.2: Ron Marchant leads with 49.47%

Commish, Pct. 4: Called for Dianne Edmondson with 61.98%

JP, Pct 3: Called for James Kerbow with 55.43%

UPDATE 9:17 p.m.: 

Michael Burgess has 60.01 percent of the vote so far.

Michael Burgess addressed the crowd at a Republican victory party in Denton. (Photo by Celeste Gracia)

While Burgess, a Republican, has retained his house seat, NBC has just called house control for the Dems.  They also call Senate control for the Republicans.

UPDATE 9:12 p.m.: NBC just called the Texas Senator race for Ted Cruz, who currently shows a lead with 50.83 percent, about 2 points above O’Rourke.

UPDATE 9:09 p.m.: At the moment, Denton County is reporting 22 percent of precincts.

We think that it’s pretty certain Andy Eads has won is race for County Judge with 57.84 percent of the vote so far.

35 percent of precincts reporting in the Place 3 JP race, and James Kerbow has 55.47 percent of the vote.  We think he’s won that one.

Statewide numbers continue to fluctuate and be too close to call.  Only about 15 percent of precincts statewide are reporting.

UPDATE 8:52 p.m.: Denton County results just now starting to come in.  11 percent of precincts reporting.  No results changed so far.

James Kerbow leads with 56.12 percent of the vote in the Pct. 3 JP race.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: Denton County still not showing any precincts reporting election night results.  We heard that ballot boxes just came in.

Statewide, numbers continue to flip back and forth in some very close races.

O’Rourke and Cruz are neck and neck right now, with 49.71 and 49.68% respectively.

Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton still hold the slightest leads in their races for Lt. Gov. and Att. Gen.

Challenger Dem Michelle Beckley holds the slightest lead over Ron Simmons in Dist 65 state house race.

UPDATE 8:18 p.m.: The leads have switched to Republicans in the Lt. Gov. and Att. Gen races.  Dan Patrick currently leads with 50.08% and Ken Paxton leads with 49.43%.  This is going to be a long night.  We’ll probably slow down on the updates until we have more precincts reporting.

Denton County is still not showing any precincts reporting election day totals.

UPDATE 8:16 p.m.: Republican State Senator Don Huffines is 9 points behind his Democratic challenger Nathan Johnson, who has 54.63 percent of the vote in that district.

UPDATE: 8:12 p.m.:  Republican Matt Rinaldi, who represents Lewisville Texans (among others) as State Rep. in Dist. 115 for our Dallas County residents is far behind Democratic Challenger Julie Johnson, who has 56.22 percent of the early vote.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: El Paso polls are closed now.

NBC calls the governorship to Greg Abbott, R.

At the moment, O’Rourke has 50.28 percent in the senate race.

US Rep. Dist 24’s lead has flipped back to Kenny Marchant, R, with 51.48% (only 3 precincts reporting)

Lt. Gov lead has flipped back to Dan Patrick, R, who has the slimmest half point margin with 49.25 percent.

Justin Nelson still has a slight lead over incumbent Republican Ken Paxton with 49.20 percent.

UPDATE 7:57 p.m.: Wow, these numbers are very close in some cases.  We’re not used to contests this close.  I’m about to hyperventilate, so I’m going to go outside and smoke.  We may go to bed tonight not knowing the results of some races.  Very interesting year.

UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: Statewide races (1.61% of precincts reporting):

Gov: Greg Abbott, R: 52.61%

Lt. Gov: Mike Collier, D: 49.65%

Att. Gen: Justin Nelson, D: 50.39%

UPDATE 7:52 p.m.: Lets look at state rep races again:

Dist 63: Tan Parker, R leads with 67.07 percent.

Dist 64: Lynn Stucky, R leads with 54.04 percent.

Dist 65: Michelle Beckley, D leads with 50.22 percent

Dist 106: Jared Patterson, R leads with 58.46 percent

UPDATE 7:48 p.m.: Statewide numbers continue to update.  The Secretary of State shows Ted Cruz now in the lead with 50.17 percent of the vote.  However, polls are not closed yet in El Paso.  Only 1.4% of precincts reporting election day votes.

UPDATE: 7:43 p.m.: Check out this map of the early vote for U.S. Senate:

Early vote via Denton County: Cruz (red) and O’Rourke (blue)

Lewisville and Denton are overwhelmingly blue while the rural sections of the county are red.  No surprise there.

UPDATE: 7:36 p.m.: Lets talk about U.S. House of Reps:

So far, Democratic challenger Jan McDowell has 53.62 percent of the vote in Dist 24, and appears ready to unseat incumbent Republican Kenny Marchant, who has 44.85 percent.  This is just the early vote plus 2 of 1,732 precincts.

In Dist 26, which is most of Denton County, and a piece of Tarrant, incumbent Republican Michael Burgess appears to be keeping his seat with 58.72 percent of the early vote + 2 precincts.

In the heavily publicized Dist. 32 race, Republican incumbent Pete Sessions is trailing with 45.56 percent of the vote to Democratic challenger Colin Allred’s 52.82%.

 

UPDATE: 7:27 p.m.: More early voting numbers:

U.S. Senator: Ted Cruz, R: 47.22% Beto O’Rourke: 52.21% (via Secretary of State)

Governor: Greg Abbott, R: 51.94% Lupe Valdez: 46.35%

Lt. Gov: Dan Patrick, R: 47.37% Mike Collier: 50.57%

Attorney Gen.: Ken Paxton, R: 46.56% Justin Nelson, D: 51.14%

UPDATE: 7:25 p.m.: Other races of interest:

County Commissioner Pct. 2: Ron Marchant, R: 49.54% Brandy Jones: 47.88%

County Commissioner Pct. 4: Dianne Edmondson: 61.45% Bryan C. Webb: 38.55%

UPDATE 7:16 p.m.:  Cruz vs O’Rourke:  Texas Secretary of State shows early votes with 78% for Cruz, however it only shows 67,302 votes counted, which is far less than even Denton County.  We suspect SOS is having technical problems.

In Denton County:  Ted Cruz, R: 54.61% Beto O’Rourke: 44.75%

CNN thinks O’Rourke has 52.2% of the Texas vote to Cruz’ 47.1%.

UPDATE 7:08 p.m.: Early vote totals for federal races in Denton County – these numbers are for Denton County only:

US Rep., Dist 24: Kenny Marchant, R: 48.48% Jan McDowell, D: 50.05%

U.S. Rep., Dist 26: Michael Burgess, R: 58.73% Linsey Fagan, D: 39.94%

UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: Here are some quick results from EARLY VOTING numbers only, selected races:

County Judge:  Andy Eads, R: 57.66% Diana Leggett, D: 42.34%

State Rep., Dist 63: Tan Parker, R: 67.07% Laura Haines, D: 32.93%

State Rep., Dist 65: Ron Simmons, R: 49.77% Michelle Beckley, D: 50.23%

Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3: James Kerbow: 55.97% Marianne Poer Vander Stoep: 44.03%

We’ll have more soon.

UPDATE 6:55 p.m.:  Here are some links so you can follow along if you want to look at returns:

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: Fivethirtyeight.com has its final forecast for what happens in the U.S. Congress. They predict an 82 percent chance Republicans maintain control of the Senate.  They predict an 85.8 percent chance that Democrats take over the house.  They also think Dems pick up 8 state governorships to have 24 states.

UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.: The polling place at Hedrick Middle School was completely dark until just about now.  A voter complained and did a Facebook live, which resulted in the lights being turned on.  It was so dark, that it did not appear to be open.  We’ll have to follow up with Denton County Elections and LISD about this later.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/lewisvillegroup/permalink/10156733545573609/

Back in 2008, this location had every last election sign, including the “Vote here” signs removed in the afternoon, and nobody at the school would fess up.  I sat in the median in front of the location with a “Vote” sign for several hours.

UPDATE: 5:45 p.m.: As a reminder: there is still time to vote.  Here’s what you need to know.

If you are IN LINE by 7 p.m. you will be allowed to vote.  Don’t worry about lines.  If you haven’t voted yet, just find your polling location and show up.

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: Steve Southwell here, taking over the live blog of tonight’s results.  We’ll have early voting results here shortly after 7 p.m.

We’re going to focus on Denton County races first, and the early vote results may tell us a lot.  This is such an unprecedented year, that we’re dying to know what this increased turnout means.  We know there is enthusiasm to vote, and that it is somewhat driven by the polarized times we are in, but it remains to be seen whether the Ds or the Rs will turn out more than normal.

Republicans run the table here in Denton County, so it’s theirs to lose.  Democrats have scarcely turned in numbers in the mid 40 percents, except in urban pockets of the county.

I wanted to show you a chart that I worked up after the 2016 presidential election showing how Lewisville voters voted:

A precinct breakdown of presidential votes in precincts that have Lewisville voters. (By Steve Southwell)

It’s a little complicated by the third party candidates and under-votes, but the center of the three colored columns shows the partisan breakdown of the votes.  Of those who voted for Trump or Clinton only, 52.32 percent voted for Trump, versus 47.68 percent for Clinton.

We didn’t analyze Denton but it had similar blue pockets.

UPDATE 3:23 p.m. We’ve just done some back-of-the-envelope math to try and put mid-day numbers in perspective, and the picture is pretty hazy. We’re seeing 1,979 people who’ve voted across 14 precincts, which works out to 141 and change per precinct. If you multiply that by Denton County’s 171 total precincts, you would get 24,172 people who have cast a ballot on election day by 1:30 p.m.

That’s not necessarily a reliable number because precincts vary in size pretty wildly, or at least they vary pretty wildly in voter turnout. Just looking at the data we analyzed earlier today from the 2014 and 2016 elections, there were a handful of precincts with four figure turnout, there was one that had a 2014 turnout of zero and a 2016 turnout of seven. We’re hoping that averaging the number will make it more predictive.

If you multiply that 24,172 number by two to account for the second half of the day, you would get a prediction of 48,344 election day voters in the county — however it’s almost certain that the back half of the day will be larger to some degree as people get off work. If you assume a 2.5 multiplier instead of a two, that comes out to 60,430 voters. If you assume three, that works out to 72,516, and if you assume almost everyone who’s going to vote today decided to wait until they got off work to do it and multiply by four, it comes out to 96,688 voters.

Those higher numbers are closer to what we were expecting and/or hoping for based on the incredible early voting turnout, but really it’s just tough to say. This election is already unlike any other in history, and we just want to see everybody out there we can. I’m signing off for now to head to some of the county watch parties for photos and comments, Steve’s going to take over the blog for the evening when he gets off work.

If we see an election day turnout of more than 86,294, which seems quite possible, the county would beat its turnout in the 2016 presidential election.

UPDATE 2:48 p.m. I just hopped around the six Lewisville voting locations that represent multiple precincts to look at polling numbers. As of 1:30 p.m., poll workers have taken 1,979 votes across those locations, which represent 14 precincts in total. There wasn’t a line at any of these locations at all. We’ll try to put those numbers in context in a few minutes here.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m. Taking a closer look at 2014 numbers, the step down in 2016 comes into sharper relief. Looking precinct by precinct exclusively at Lewisville voters, 49.08 percent of the Lewisville vote. If you eliminate the Libertarian and Green party candidates in that race, he earned 52.32 percent.

The big races in 2014, the Senate race between John Cornyn and David Alameel and the governor’s race between Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis, show much stronger Republican support in the city. Abbott earned about 56.67 percent of the Lewisville vote and Cornyn earned 62.74.

Those numbers don’t include the two Dallas County precincts in Lewisville, so they may not be quite exact, but they’ll be very close — those precincts only accounted for 180 votes in the 2016 election, which had a much higher turnout than the midterms.

11:30 a.m. Good morning Lewisville, this is the live blog post for the 2018 general election. We’ll post updates periodically throughout the day on here, with immediate coverage of results as soon as they start coming in at 7 p.m. With the biggest state-wide races for senator and governor well-covered, we’ll be paying special attention to local races for the U.S. and state houses of representatives as well as local judges.

To kick things off, I wanted to start with some background on recent general elections. Going all the way back to 2010, Denton County has been solidly Republican territory, with red votes hovering around 70 percent. Straight ticket votes were 74.41 percent Republican in 2010, and move to 68.52 percent in 2012, back up to 72.25 percent in 2014 and then sharply downward to 63.32 percent in 2016.

Marquee races in these elections mostly track with the straight ticket votes from a few percentage points below. Rick Perry earned 63.84 percent of the vote from Denton County for governor in 2010, Mitt Romney got 64.91 percent for president in 2012, Sen. John Cornyn earned 67.88 percent of the vote for his seat in 2014. President Donald Trump also saw noticeably less support from Denton County than other Republican candidates, earning 57.13 percent in 2016.

It’s difficult to put the 2016 election, a heated race that lasted more than a year and came down to two of the least popular presidential candidates in U.S. history, in context with the other elections — it was clearly a singular event. However, the 2018 election is also shaping up to be a standout election cycle simply because of voter turnout. Texas is host to the most significant, and one of the most contentious, races on a national stage between Sen. Ted Cruz and his challenger, current U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

What is clear is that the sharp drop in Republican support from 2014 to 2016 came almost entirely from Lewisville. Denton, the most populous part of the county and filled with college students, is a big blue island in the middle of a red, rural county. But heat maps show the Lewisville area turning blue in 2016. Lewisville voted 52.32 percent in favor of Republicans on the whole.

The map of how Denton County voted in 2014, courtesy votedenton.com.
How Denton County voted in 2016, also courtesy votedenton.com.

It will be interesting to see whether or not this continues into another year as the day goes on.

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