Joe Biden beat President Trump by a little over 850K votes in the seven counties with at least 500K registered voters. That’s nearly double the 443K-vote margin Hillary Clinton had in those counties four years earlier and a little over 100K above Beto O’Rourke’s margin over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in 2018.
Trump beat Biden by a little over 850K votes in the 207 counties with fewer than 50K registered voters. The state’s seven largest counties were completely offset by its 207 “smallest” counties. The good news for Democrats running statewide is those “small” counties used to more than offset the bigger ones. In 2008, Barack Obama beat John McCain by 70K votes in the seven big counties and lost to him by more than 500K votes in the “smaller” ones. And it wasn’t that long ago that Republicans were winning the biggest ones, too (Obama lost the big counties by 41K votes in 2012).
The bad news for Democrats running for statewide office, say in 2022, is that this rural red wall is very strong, indeed. The other bad news for Democrats is, the 40 counties in the middle – 50K-250K registered voters – favored Trump by 650K votes, which was the President’s statewide margin of victory.
The other, other bad news for Democrats is, the Republican advantage in the “smaller” counties is still growing. Trump increased his 2016 margin by roughly 170K net votes and about 330K more than Cruz’s margin two years ago.
The other, other, other bad news for future statewide Democratic candidates is, where some of that growth came from.
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