Two out of every three Texan voters cast a straight-party ballot in the 2018 general election, the highest such percentage for any election for which data is available and likely the highest since at least the end of the poll tax era. Unless the Legislature acts, it was the last time voters could cast a straight-party vote with a single punch, mark or other action.
Our preliminary analysis of canvassed and unofficial results from 111 counties, accounting for 88% of all votes cast, indicates the last year of single-punch, straight-party voting is its most popular. Just over 67% of voters in those counties cast a straight-party ballot, up from 62.7% in 2016 and 59.8% in 2014. At least 80 of the 111 counties experienced a record share of straight-party voting for any years for which we have data.
Statewide, we estimate that 5.5M to 5.7M Texans cast a straight-party ballot in 2018. The current record is 5.63M, which was set two years ago (3.0M Republican, 2.5M Democrat and 0.1M Libertarian and Green). Approximately 2.75M to 2.9M people voted straight-party Republican, the second most in state history behind 2016 (3.0M), and approximately 2.6M to 2.75M people voted straight-party Democratic, the most in state history, breaking the record of 2.49M set in 2016. We estimate between 30K and 40K people cast a straight Libertarian ballot.
With the exception of 2006, the use of straight-party voting has risen steadily in each gubernatorial election since 1998, when 45.1% of ballots cast were straight-party votes.
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©2018 Texas Election Source LLC