Results from the Secretary of State’s office are still short a few precincts (mainly from Brooks, Cameron and Fannin Cos.), but we can draw several conclusions from last night’e election.
For all the talk of Texas turning blue, it got significantly redder. Republicans swept the statewide offices for the 10th consecutive general election (gubernatorial and presidential) and picked up one congressional seat, the Senate seat belonging to gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis and three House seats.
Exit polling reveals that the Democrats’ strategy of courting women and Hispanic/Latino voters failed to achieve the desired levels of support. Davis lost the women vote, 54-45, and won the Hispanic/Latino vote by just 11 points, 55-44. Among Hispanic/Latino men, the race was a dead heat. Davis’s advantage among young voters — statistical ties in the 18-29 and 30-44 age groups — was far below Obama’s in 2008.
Despite all the fundraising success and Battleground Texas’ efforts, Davis not only failed to achieve the vote percentage of Bill While in 2010, but also failed to achieve Tony Sanchez’s vote percentage in 2002. We estimate the final numbers for the GOV race to be Abbott 59.2, Davis 38.9.
- 45.87% — Ann Richards (1994)
- 42.29% — Bill White (2010)
- 39.96% — Tony Sanchez (2002)
- 38.93% — Wendy Davis (2014)
- 31.18% — Garry Mauro (1998)
- 29.78% — Chris Bell (2006)
In fact, Davis failed to achieve the vote percentage won by Rick Perry in his 2006 re-election bid against three major opponents (White, Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman).
Davis won just 19 of the state’s 254 counties: Brooks (likely), Cameron, Dallas, Dimmit, Duval, El Paso, Frio, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Maverick, Presidio, Starr, Travis, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Zapata and Zavala. Abbott won 125 counties with at least 80% of the vote.
The average Democratic statewide candidate received 37.0% of the vote, slightly better than in 2010. SEN nominee David Alameel was the lowest-perfoming Democrat at 34.3%. Davis was the highest at 38.9%, which places the overall spread between all the statewide candidates at 4.6%. This is the lowest spread since the Republicans first became competitive statewide and indicates record levels of straight-ticket votes for a gubernatorial election.
Put another way, Davis ($39M raised) received 8% more votes than AGRIC nominee Jim Hogan ($0 raised).
It appears that turnout will be right around 33.0%, or less than one out of every three registered voters. This would be the second-lowest general election turnout in the modern era (lowest since 1998).
About 4.65 million Texans cast ballots early, by mail or on Election Day, about 330,000 fewer than in 2010.
From what we can tell, Republicans dominated local and judicial (particularly appellate) races. Going in to the election, Republican candidates for county office outnumbered Democrats 2-to-1, and not a single Democrat was running in at least 88 counties.
It’s clear that there was a significant wave against President Obama nationally, and it appears that s large proportion of Texans casting ballots also voted against the President. In 2008, Texas Democrats brought hundreds of thousands of new voters to the polls, energized and poised to turn the state blue in the near future. Those voters have not returned to the polling place, leaving Texas redder than ever.