Denton Co. voters cast a record number of straight-ticket Republican and straight-ticket Democratic votes in this year’s general election, and Republicans retained 94% of their countywide straight-ticket vote advantage. Two Texas House districts got a little redder, but Democrats closed the gap in one district, making it potentially competitive in 2020.

In HD65, the Republicans’ advantage in straight-ticket voting was reduced to just 3,121 votes, down more than 4,400 votes from 2012, because nearly 5K more straight-ticket Democratic votes were cast than in 2012. The shift toward the Democrats in this district was larger than the countywide shift, so the Democrats’ gains in the county were effectively limited to just HD65.

Rep. Ron Simmons

Rep. Ron

Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Lewisville) defeated his Democratic opponent, 56%-44%, in a district that President-elect Trump narrowly carried over Hillary Clinton. Mitt Romney received 59% of the vote head-to-head against President Obama in this district in 2012, 7.4 percentage points better than Trump.

Simmons received 61% of the vote from full-ballot voters, which was a higher figure than either Romney in 2012 (54%) or Trump this year (45%). Approximately one out of every six full-ballot voters chose Simmons and Clinton.

Simmons has again filed legislation that would end the option of casting a vote for every candidate of one party through a single mark, punch or other action. More than 70% of votes cast by HD65 residents were straight-ticket votes.

An even greater increase in the number of straight-ticket Democratic votes occurred in HD106, but it was washed out by an even larger rise in straight-ticket Republican votes. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) had no Democratic opponent, but any Democratic opponent would have faced a nearly 18K-vote disadvantage in straight-ticket voting, up 1K from 2012.

The other two House districts saw tiny shifts that had no impact on the overall Republican advantages in straight-ticket voting (10K in HD64 and nearly 25K in HD63).

Countywide, straight-ticket votes accounted for 65% of all votes cast, including the 1.3% cast for the Libertarian (1.0%) and Green (0.3%) Parties. More than 20K more straight-ticket Democratic votes were cast than in 2012, and nearly 17K more straight-ticket Republican votes were cast than four years ago.