Who benefits from Texas' record-breaking early voting turnout?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The lines are long and full of motivated voters, people who couldn't wait to cast their ballots.

Jolene Tollet was just one of thousands of people who have stood in line in Harris County, waiting for her chance to have her say.

"I think people are supporting their own interests but also the interests of people they care about," Tollet said, after voting on day two of the early voting period.

But to whose advantage is it? Which party, which candidates benefit from these big early turnouts?

RELATED: Harris County sees record breaking early voter turnout

Mark Jones is a political science professor at the Baker Institute at Rice University. He said there's no way to know if these early numbers mean higher overall turnout or just that more people are voting early.

He also suggested that with fewer than one in 10 ballots coming from new voters so far, neither party can claim anything yet.

"At this point, you can't read too much into these numbers," he told Eyewitness News. "New voters suggest it's a slight advantage for Democrats, but not a huge advantage. It's not like all new voters are voting 100 percent Democratic."

President Donald Trump was in Houston Monday to rally Republicans to the polls. He was here to support Sen. Ted Cruz in his reelection bid against Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

EXCLUSIVE: Why Trump is fighting to get Cruz re-elected to Senate

But he also asked voters to cast ballots for other Republicans too. He knows there is tremendous enthusiasm among Democrats here in Texas and across the country. The balance of power in Washington could swing. We asked him before the rally his thoughts about high early turnout.

"Well, I think frankly we've added a lot of spice to it," he said in an exclusive interview. "When I say we, maybe it's I, and others perhaps. But I think, you know, they see that I'm coming here. We're having record numbers of people all over the state, from what they're telling me, and that's a good thing and I think, if that happens, I think it should be to Ted's advantage."

When asked if the turnout was a signal of people voting "for" him and his agenda or "against" him, he answered, "Well, maybe some against, but mostly for. I mean, I won the state of Texas by a lot."

But whether that translates into a victory in November is too hard to know, despite the high turnout, which may not be the tea leaves those on both sides of the aisle might suggest.

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