More than 150,000 people have already cast ballots as early voting comes to an end before the March 1 Super Tuesday presidential preference primary.

In Harris County – where Houston’s Ted Cruz is in a dogfight for the GOP nomination – the early turnout among Republicans could set records.

Friday’s the last chance to vote early. In Harris County, 42 early-voting locations will be open until 7 p.m. and a voter can go to any of them.

County Clerk Stan Stanart said voting among Republicans is at a record pace – and steady at all traditional GOP pockets of the sprawling county.

Stanart said the “clear relevance” of Texas in the Republican race for the nomination is driving GOP votes to the polls. The state is a key player because it offers 155 delegates, making it by far the top prize among Super Tuesday states.

The Texas vote could be a crossroads for Ted Cruz.

 

Cruz, the Texas senator who kicked off the campaign with a victory in the Iowa caucuses, has suffered a string of third-place finishes since then. He will seek in Texas – where he leads in public opinion polls – to gain ground on real-estate billionaire Donald Trump, who has won all of the state contests since Iowa, and Florida Sen. Marcio Rubio, with whom Cruz has largely been tangled in second place.