13 December 2011

Rank 37 / 15: Texas

Texas




Growth Alert: There were 6.5 times more votes cast in TX in 2008 than in 1948!!


Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
37 / 15
55.39%
+11.76%
+21.48%
-11.10%
+9.72%
+1.38
2004
10 42
61.09%
+22.86%
+20.40%
+1.54%
+2.98%
+1.44
2000
10 / 42
59.30%
+21.32%
+21.84%
+16.39%
+8.00%
+8.39
1996
39 / 13
48.76%
+4.93%
+13.45%
+1.45%
+2.96%
+4.41
1992
38 / 14
40.56%
+3.48%
+9.04%
-9.12%
+13.29%
+4.17
1988
29 / 23
55.95%
+12.60%
+4.87%
-14.90%
-10.49%
+4.41

Blue shading = DEM pick-up over the cycle before.
Red shading = GOP pick-up over the cycle before.
There were no pick-ups in Texas over the last 6 cycles. Texas was last a pick-up state in 1980.

Texamargin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): GOP 
+13.35%


Within the summary is an analysis of the swings and trend values in TX over the last six cycles.

Trend: STEADY


TX county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet
(raw totals for 2008 and 2004, margins, swings, % of state PV, county growth rate)

The partisan rankings for Ranking 37 (TX) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow):

Rank2008Margin '082004Margin - 042000Margin '001996Margin '961992Margin '921988Margin '88Rank1984Margin '841980Margin '801976Margin '761972Margin '721968Margin '681964Margin '64
17 - 35NM15,13%MI3,42%MN2,40%CA12,89%NM8,56%MO3,98%17 - 35VT17,11%NY2,67%NY4,43%DE20,41%TX1,27%MN27,76%
18 - 34WI13,90%PA2,50%OR0,44%WA12,54%ME8,33%NM4,96%18 - 34OH18,76%ME3,36%MO3,63%OH21,56%AR7.64%OR27,75%
19 - 33NV12,49%NH1,37%IA0,31%LA12,07%DE8,20%CT5,10%19 - 33MI18,99%WI4,72%TX3,17%ME22,98%MO1,13%NH27,28%
20 - 32PA10,31%WI0,38%WI0,22%IA10,34%MI7,40%MT5,87%20 - 32DE19,85%LA5,45%PA2,66%AK23,51%NJ2,13%TX26,82%
21 - 31MN10,24%IA0,67%NM0,06%WI10,33%CT6,43%SD6,34%21 - 31MO20,05%VT5,96%HI2,53%MD23,90%OH2,28%OH25,89%
22 -30NH9,61%NM0,79%FL0,01%NH9,95%IA6,01%CO7,78%22 -30GA20,39%MI6,49%MS1,88%NM24,49%AK2,64%WA24,59%
23 - 29IA9,53%OH2,11%NH1,27%PA9,20%TN4,65%MI7,90%23 - 29NM20,48%MO6,81%WI1,68%MO24,59%IL2,92%WI24,35%
24 - 28CO8,95%NV2,59%MO3,34%OR8,09%LA4,61%LA10,21%24 - 28KY20,66%PA7,11%OH0,27%NJ24,80%CA3,08%IA23,97%
25 - 27VA6,30%CO4,67%OH3,51%NM7,33%WI4,35%OH10,85%25 - 27NJ20,89%IL7,93%OR0,17%HI24,96%DE3,51%CO23,07%
26 - 26OH4,58%FL5,01%NV3,55%OH6,36%CO4,26%ME11,45%26 - 26CT21,90%CT9,63%ME0,84%VT26,20%WI3,62%DE22,17%
27 - 25FL2,81%MO7,20%TN3,86%MO6,30%KY3,21%KY11,64%27 - 25ME22,05%OR9,66%IA1,01%ND26,28%GA12.43%NM18,98%
28 - 24IN1,03%VA8,20%AR5,44%FL5,70%NV2,63%DE12,40%28 - 24AR22,18%OH10,60%OK1,21%WV27,22%OR6,05%IL18,94%
29 - 23NC0,33%AR9,76%AZ6,28%TN2,41%MT2,51%TX12,60%29 - 23AL22,26%WA12,34%VA1,34%NV27,36%KY6,14%MT18,38%
30 - 22MO0,13%AZ10,47%WV6,32%AZ2,22%NJ2,37%ND13,06%30 - 22MT22,30%IA12,70%SD1,48%CO28,01%NV8,16%CA18,32%
31 - 21MT2,38%NC12,43%LA7,68%NV1,02%OH1,83%KS13,23%31 - 21LA22,60%VA12,72%CA1,78%KY28,60%NH8,18%NV17,16%
32 - 20GA5,20%WV12,86%VA8,04%KY0,96%NH1,22%NJ13,64%32 - 20IN23,99%NJ13,42%IL1,97%NH29,12%SC5,79%ND16,09%
33 - 19SD8,41%TN14,27%CO8,36%GA1,17%GA0,59%AR14,18%33 - 19NC24,00%TX13,86%NJ2,16%AZ31,26%MT9,01%WY13,12%
34 - 18AZ8,48%LA14,51%GA11,69%CO1,37%NC0,79%NC16,26%34 - 18MS24,39%CA16,78%NM2,47%IN32,77%CO9,14%AR12,66%
35 - 17ND8,65%GA16,60%NC12,83%VA1,96%FL1,89%TN16,34%35 - 17VA25,19%FL17,02%WA3,88%TX32,96%VT9,22%IN12,42%
36 - 16SC8,98%SC17,08%AL14,88%MT2,88%AZ1,95%OK16,65%36 - 16SD26,47%NM18,18%NV4,36%LA36,97%FL9,60%NC12,30%
37 - 15TX11,76%MS19,69%KY15,13%SD3,46%TX3,48%AL19,30%37 - 15TX27,50%IN18,35%CT5,17%VA37,72%TN3,83%OK11,49%
38 - 14WV13,09%KY19,86%IN15,63%NC4,69%SD3,52%IN20,16%38 - 14SC27,99%CO24,00%MI5,39%TN37,95%NC8,25%SD11,22%
39 - 13MS13,17%MT20,50%SC15,93%TX4,93%VA4,37%GA20,25%39 - 13CO28,32%MT24,39%ND5,85%AR38,11%VA10,87%TN11,01%
40 - 12KS14,92%IN20,68%MS16,91%MS5,13%KS5,14%VA20,50%40 - 12FL30,66%KS24,56%MT7,44%KS38,15%SD11,31%UT9,73%
41 - 11NE14,93%SD21,47%KS20,80%IN5,58%WY5,60%MS20,82%41 - 11ND31,04%OK25,53%KS7,55%ID38,20%NM12,10%KS9,03%
42 - 10TN15,06%TX22,86%TX21,32%SC6,04%IN6,11%NV20,94%42 - 10KS33,67%AK27,94%IN7,62%WY38,54%IA12,19%VA7,36%




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TX population 2008: 24,326,974
TX Population Density: 35.9 persons per square Km.
Electoral Vote Density: 715,499 persons per EV.

SUMMARY


Texas is the 15th most conservative state and the 37th most liberal state, with a Republican winning margin of +11.76% and having voted 21.48% more Republican than the national margin in 2008.

Texas was the 10th most conservative state and the 42th most liberal state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +22.86% and having voted 20.40% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

Texas was also the 10th most conservative state and the 42th most liberal state in 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +21.32% and having voted 21.84% more Republican than the national margin in that year.


From 1904 - 2008, Texas went for the GOP 
12 times, for the DEMS 15  times and for an Independent candidate 1 time.

Since 1948, Texas went for the GOP 
11 times, for the DEMS 5 times. (almost 2:1 ratio)


Since 1960, Texas went for the GOP 
9 times, for the DEMS 4 times. (more than 2:1 ratio)


The former Republic of Texas, which had begun negotiations with the US Government as early as 1836 for a treaty of annexation, was annexed annexed through a joint resolution of Congress in March 1845. Here is the annexation document: 
Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States (.pdf download). Nine months after annexation, in December of 1845, Texas became the 28th state in the Union. There is a clause in the Joint Resolution that grants Texas the right to carve-out four additional smaller states from the land within its boundaries at a later date of its choosing, meaning that technically, according to the Resolution for the Annexation of Texas, there could be 5 states today within its borders, should it wish to split itself up. The only stipulation is that one of those five states must still carry the name „Texas“. There is no clause in the document that grants Texas a special right to seceed from the Union.


Texas, the second largest state in our Union by both land mass and by population, was the fastest growing state between 2000-2010 and has gained 4 congressional seats as of the 2012 elections. This also means that Texas will have 38 electors in the Electoral College in 2012 and 2016.


Texas first joined the Electoral College and participated in its first national election in 1848. In both 1848 and 1852, Texas selected the Democratic nominees 
Lewis Cass (+40.58% margin) and Franklin Pierce (+46.68% margin) for President. At that time in history, Texas only had 4 Electoral votes, nine times less than today. But already in the first two elections, it proved itself to be an absolute firewall Democratic state.


With the creation of the Republican party and its appearance on the national stage in 1856, Texas was just as staunchly Democratic state as in the two cycles before, but with reduced margins until 1876. In 1856 and 1860, the GOP was not yet on the ballot: James Buchanan (D) won a 
+33.18% margin over former President Millard Fillmore (American Party) in 1856 and in 1860, the Southern Democratic candidate, John Breckinridge, won a massive +50.98% margin over John Bell from the Constitution party. In 1860, the Democratic Party from the North was, like the GOP, not on the ballot in TX.


Texas was one of the Confederate States and did not participate in the Elections of 1864 or 1868.


Starting in 1872, Texas was again part of the Electoral College and gave Horace Greeley a 
+16.36% landslide margin over incumbent President Ulysses Grant. Starting in 1876, the contentious Hayes-Tilden contest, Texas went for 4 cycles in a row with +40% or more margins for the Democratic candidate and would vote the next 14 cycles in a row for the Democratic Party. Of those 14 cycles, 9 cycles are +40% or more and 4 of those 9 are even +50% or more margins. There is no doubt that TX was a hard -ore Democratic state where Republican candidates did not even show up to campaign. Just consider the time and energy it takes for a candidate to get a large +15% landslide in any competitive states these days.  In fact, in 1924, the last cycle before the first Republican presidential win EVER in Texas, Coolidge's Democratic challenger Ticket, John Davis / Charles Bryan (the younger brother of William Jennings Bryan from 1892, 1896 and 1908), won TX with a +53.93% margin. In 1924, Texas had grown five times in size, to 20 EV.


However, in 1928, Republican Herbert Hoover captured Texas for the GOP by a lean 
+3.67% margin. How did he do it?


Two things:


1.) Hoover created and championed a tactic later to be known as the 
Southern Strategy, which Nixon called the „Southern State Strategy“, which used racism and fear of too much government influence (often called „States Rights“) in order to sway conservative white voters in the South.


2.) The Democratic candidate in 1928, Al Smith, was the first catholic candidate for President, and this did not set well in mostly protestant Texas. The so called „whisper campaign“ that Smith - because of his Catholicism - would place the USA under the yoke of the Pope, was successful in five southern states: TX, TN, VA, NC and FL. The fact that the Democratic National Convention was in Texas in 1928 may have actually complicated things even more for Al Smith, for there was more coverage of his religion in the state due to the Convention. The rest of the truly Deep South stayed with Al Smith and because of the Catholic issue, Smith actually picked up MA and RI, which had been traditionally Republican states.


The GOP's victory in TX was short-lived, however. With FDR's landslides, Texas returned to the Democratic column for five cycles. FDR won TX with 
+76.72% (1932, the state record for all parties), +74.76% (1936), +62.01% (1940), +54.78% (1944) and Truman continued the winning stread with +41.68% in 1948. As of 1948, Texas had 23 Electors, or 3/5 of it's current EV strength. It was close in electoral strength to California and Ohio, both of which had 25 EV in 1948.


Ike was the first Republican in history to win Texas two times, and with ever increasing margins: 
+6.44% (1952) and +11.48% (1956). Texans really liked Eisenhower, the war hero and President who brought a lot of stability to the 1950s. Statistically, Eisenhower's 1956 win in TX is almost identical to John McCain's win in the Lone Star State in 2008 (McCain +11.76%). These wins for Eisenhower were important, because though the margins were under the national average both times, the swing from 1952 to 1956 (+5.04%) was larger than the national swing. This is an important ingredient in making a state competitive for the future of the party which had traditionally been the minority party in that state.


Without Eisenhower on the ticket in 1960 and with a Texan on the Democratic Ticket for Vice-President, TX returned to the Democratic column. However, John Kennedy's 
+2.00% margin win in TX was the second leanest win in the state's history. This means that many Texans were already rethinking their priorities in 1960. But also remember, John Kennedy was the 2nd Catholic to run for president. See: 1928


In 1964, the state handed favorite son LBJ a landslide 
+26.82% margin win, which is a whopper of a margin and over his national average, but still lean compared to the 1870s to 1928 and again from 1932 through 1948. The balance of power had shifted in Texas: more and more voters were becoming Republicans.


George Wallace sped this transition up in 1968: The independent candidate took 
18.97% of the vote in TX (over his national percentage) and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey (D) squeaked through with a +1.17% winning margin (the state squeaker record) and a minority win, the first minority win in TX's presidential electoral history and one of only three such minority wins to date (1968, 1992, 1996).


Nixon's „Southern State Strategy“ paid off in 1972, however, and TX moved firmly into the GOP camp, giving the incumbent President a GOP record-setting 
+32.96% margin. In 1972, TX had 26 Electors and was now stronger than Ohio in the Electoral College.


The Watergate scandal, Nixon's resignation, Ford's pardon – all of these things coupled with a Southern Democrat running for President, allowed Jimmy Carter (D) to recapture almost the entire South in 1976 (Ford retained VA), but in TX, with a lean 
+3.17% margin, Carter barely recaptured the Lone Star State: it was his second leanest victory in the South, after Mississippi (+1.88%). What is did was simply to delay the Reagan Revolution 4 years.


And the Reagan revolution came like Gangbusters in Texas. From 1980 to the present day, TX has voted Republican (8 cycles in a row). It is the largest state in the GOP electoral column and a necessary counterweight to the Democratic strength in the other mega-state in the USA: California.


Reagan took TX with a landslide 
+13.86% in 1980, higher than his national average of +9.74%. In 1984, Texans chose President Reagan with a +27.50% margin, the second best showing for a Republican in TX's history, after Nixon in 1972.


The next 6 cycles were already covered in the chart at the beginning of this analysis. Here is that table again, with 1980 and 1984 added in:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
37 / 15
55.39%
+11.76%
+21.48%
-11.10%
+9.72%
+1.38
2004
10 42
61.09%
+22.86%
+20.40%
+1.54%
+2.98%
+1.44
2000
10 / 42
59.30%
+21.32%
+21.84%
+16.39%
+8.00%
+8.39
1996
39 / 13
48.76%
+4.93%
+13.45%
+1.45%
+2.96%
+4.41
1992
38 / 14
40.56%
+3.48%
+9.04%
-9.12%
+13.29%
+4.17
1988
29 / 23
55.95%
+12.60%
+4.87%
-14.90%
-10.49%
+4.41
1984
37 / 15
63.61%
+27.50%
+9.28%
+13.64%
+8.48%
+5.61
1980
33 / 19
55.28%
+13.86%
+4.12%
+17.03%
+11.80
+5.23

A sea of red...with a tad of blue here and there.
Here we find something really fascinating and something that supports the argument for strong, almost hidden Republican strength in this state, even in rougher elections.

Yes, the percentage margins have dropped on each each cycle that was or would have been a 3rd term for the Republican party: in 1988, when George W. Bush, Sr. won, it was a third Republican term. Then came two Democratic terms with Bill Clinton, then two Republican terms with George W. Bush, Jr. 2008, had John McCain won the national election, would have been a third Republican term. Notice how similar the percentages and percentage margins are between the two (1988, 2008).


But the real telling part of this is the „partisan value“, or difference between the statewide margin and the national margin. Take 1984 out of the picture for a second – it was a standout landslide election – and look at the rest of the partisan values from 1980 upward to 2008. They steadily rise through 2000 and then hang in the 
+20 +21 range. So, regardless of swings back and forth, TX has constantly improved its heighth above the national margin. Also, it would be correct to note that George W. Bush, Jr. is the third Republican president to win TX twice, but he is the only one to win TX twice with a blowout +20% margin. That sets new standards for the GOP's future in this state. There is not much to say about the Clinton years and Texas: even a three-man race was not enough to swing Texas back to a Southern Democrat. The tilt of the state has just changed too much over the last 36 years.


John McCain's landslide win in TX in 2008 is:


-the 15th largest of his landslide wins of +10 or more. (To contrast, Obama had 21 landslides of +10 or more)

-the 7th largest Republican winning margin of the 12 Republican wins in TX, after 1972, 1984, 2004, 2000, 1980 and 1988.


Obama picked-up 9 counties in TX, most noticeably
 Dallas and Harris Counties, which accounted for 23.58% of the total vote from TX in 2008.


In the analysis of SC, there is a comparison table of most of the deep south. Here is the link. You will see that TX had of course enormous margins in it's Democratic heyday, but still not as large margins as SC, MS or LA, but pretty dead even with AL.
Important details about TX:

Republicans:


-No Republican won TX from 1856-1924.

-Only one Republican won TX in the first half of the 20th century: Hoover (1928)

- Since the middle of the 20 th century, 3 two-term Republicans have won TX both times: Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush 43.

-the other two-term Republican president, Richard Nixon, picked-up TX in 1972.

-Since 1980, every GOP candidate, regardless whether national winner or loser, has won TX.

Democrats:


-Every Democratic President from 1852-1976 won TX (124 years), and every time: Pierce, Buchanan, Cleveland, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter. Also every democratic candidate from 1868-1924, regardless whether winner of loser in the national election.

-Since 1980, every Democrat has lost TX.

-Only two democratic candidates in history have lost TX twice in a row: Stevenson and Clinton.

-Were President Obama to lose TX in 2012, then he will join Bill Clinton in the statistic above. Should he pick-up TX in 2012, then he would be a brand new statistic for this state.

Independents:


No independent candidate has won TX, but there have been spurts of large independent activity: James Weaver of the Populist Party in 1892 (
+23.61%), Theodore Roosevelt took second place in 1912 with only 9.46% of the PV, Taft (R-inc) got only 8.77% and Eugene Debs of the Socialist Party was on his heels with 8.44%. Together they came up with less than 27% of the vote in that year.


-There is one more sign of very interesting Independent activity in TX similar to SC in 1956: in 1944, The „
Texas Regulars“, a group of conservative Texans who wanted to deny FDR an Electoral College majority in that year, got 11.94% of the vote in Texas in that year, but HAD NO CANDIDATE. The group disbanded shortly thereafter and moved over to Strom Thurmond in 1948. Both George Wallace (1968) and Ross Perot (1992) had strong showings here.


Based on its voting record, TX is not bellwether state, having missed the Electoral College winner in 12 of the last 27 cycles and having missed the PV winner in 13 of the last 27 cycles, and more recently, it has missed the Electoral College winner 4 times since 1960 and the PV winner 5 times since 1960.
Can TX become a battleground in 2012?

Most likely not. But the changing demographics ("hispanics rising") in TX can make the race leaner than expected. There were 18 polls of TX in 2008 and John McCain led in every poll. If Obama is leading in TX in 2012, then that indicates a massive Democratic landslide, which is not likely.

TX Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
Winning margin
GOP
1972
Nixon
66.20%
 +32.96%
DEM
1932
Roosevelt, FD
87.07%
+76.20% 
IND
1992
Perot
22.01%
---- 
---------------------




All-time "squeaker"
1968
Humphrey
41.14%
+1.27% 

In Texas, the Governor, Lt. Governor, both Senators and 32 of 32 US Representatives are Republicans. The other 9 US Representatives are Democrats. In the Texas Legislature, the Republicans have a hypermajority in both Houses.

Facit: in 2007, I wrote:  „Texas is a safe republican state and will most likely vote republican in the next election cycles, but with lesser margins than in the last 8 years. Texas' significant trend toward the GOP can be attributed somewhat to the presence of former Gov. George W. Bush on the ballot in 2000 and 2004. A charismatic southern democrat could conceivably win the state: Bill Clinton lost by narrow margins both in 1992 and 1996 and Jimmy Carter narrowly won Texas in 1976. The state is absolutely critical to the GOP as a counterweight to California, which will most likely stay democratic for the next cycles. 

Facit 2011: yepp. 

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