We continue our look into how straight-ticket voting has played out historically in today’s more competitive districts by turning our attention to HD118 in southern and eastern Bexar Co.
Republican John Lujan scored an upset victory in a January special runoff election over Democrat Tomas Uresti, 52%-48%, to claim the remaining term of former Rep. Joe Farias (D-San Antonio), who resigned. Just 4% of registered voters cast ballots in the special runoff election. Lujan faces a rematch against Uresti in November. There are no minor party candidates in the race.
HD118 has never previously been held by a Republican, either in Bexar Co. (1977-2015) or when it was located in West Texas (1913-1953). The reason is fairly straightforward: HD118 in Bexar Co. is, at least in general elections, very friendly to Democrats.
Barack Obama received 56% of the vote in what is now HD118 in 2008 and in current HD118 in 2012. Bill White defeated Rick Perry, 56%-44%, in what is now HD118 in 2010, and Wendy Davis carried the currently drawn district in 2014, 53%-47%. Democratic candidates run stronger in HD118’s precincts in presidential election years, buoyed by a strong straight-ticket voting advantage. In three of the last four presidential elections, the number of Democratic straight-ticket votes has exceeded the number of Republican straight-ticket votes by at least 5,000 in the precincts currently comprising HD118.
Estimates of the number of straight-ticket and full-ballot votes cast in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections and the actual number of those votes in the 2012 presidential election are shown below.
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