Around the South for Mar. 5: TX, FL & VA

Texas: Democrats turn out big for primaries. Perhaps echoing Democratic success in other states since the election of President Trump, Democrats in the Lone Star State are going to the polls in their party’s primaries in record numbers. Compared with 2014 primaries, Republican turn out is up 17%, but Democratic turnout is up by 90%. Moreover, Democratic Primary turnout has increased over the presidential primary turnout in 2016, while GOP primary turn out has lagged behind the 2016 turnout. US Sen. Ted Cruz (R) told a GOP gathering that Republicans “could get obliterated at the polls,” reported Vox ……. Florida: Senate votes down assault weapons ban. In a 20 to 17 vote, the Sunshine State senate defeated a bill that would have banned the AR-15 and similar weapons, then immediately observed a moment of silence for the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. However, the Budget committees in both legislative chambers have reported out bills that would raise the gun-purchase age to 21 and require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases ……. Virginia: Kaine, Stewart differ over guns. Last Monday, US Sen. Tim Kaine (D) met with some 50 mothers of victims of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre and talked about the need for stronger controls on guns in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting. By contrast, Corey Stewart, one of the Republicans who hopes to defeat Kaine in November, went to a shooting range, where he compared gun controls to castration in men …….