And so it begins.  Tuesday is “primary day” in Texas and safe to say it’s been month of Sundays since Democrats were this optimistic.  We are about to see what the “Trump effect” will be on 2018 midterm voters.

Texas is the first primary of the 2018 political season and it will be closely watched.  Early voting has already shown a record number of Democrats going to the polls, which, according to NPR, could be a fortuitous sign of what’s to come in November.

“Texas is the nation’s bellwether right now,” said Tariq Thowfeek, the communications director for the Texas Democratic Party. “It’s a good gauge of the incredible progressive energy we have across the country in a state that is ranked at the bottom of the barrel in voter turnout.”

The Lone Star State has long been a Republican stronghold but political analysts are watching the state closely, and the early Democratic voting has been astonishing.

The Trump-led GOP has already seen several special elections go for Democrats in traditionally strong Republican states like Alabama.  Much of the motivation is coming from women, who are voting and running for office like never before.

“It signals a Democratic electorate that is motivated to make a statement against Donald Trump, and that motivation is nowhere more powerful than in female voters.” -Cal Jillison, Political Science Professor, SMU

But despite the enthusiasm, Texas could still be a longshot for Dems.  They haven’t won a statewide race since 1994.