For much of the past decade-plus, Harris Co. experienced a phenomenon I called “partisan mood swings.” Democrats running countywide – potentially all of them – tended to win in presidential election years. Republicans running countywide – often all of them – tended to win in gubernatorial election years. The best, and only, explanation: straight-party voting.

More Democrats cast straight-party votes than Republicans in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2016. More Republicans cast straight-party votes than Democrats in 2002, 2010 and 2014. The exceptions to this yoyoing pattern were:

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