Our examination of straight-ticket voting trends in competitive or potentially competitive districts makes a final stop in HD136, which encompasses most of Cedar Park, Leander and the Williamson Co. part of Austin. The fast-growing district is trending more Democratic, but it remains a Republican-friendly district.
The district was created during the 2011 round of redistricting when a new district was added to Williamson Co. Previous incarnations of HD136 were located in Harris Co.
Rep. Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park) is seeking his third term. He faces Austin insurance agent and former social worker Paul Gordon. The Libertarian candidate withdrew from the race and will not appear on the ballot.
In 2012, Dale won the open-seat race, 57%-43%, the same split as Mitt Romney’s win over President Obama in the district. Democratic turnout was stronger in 2008, but we estimate that a Republican candidate would have won what is now HD136, 57%-43%, performing several points better than John McCain against Obama (53%-47%).
Measured by the percent of votes cast, Democrats have made significant progress in straight-ticket voting in the precincts that now comprise HD136. However, the growth in the actual number of straight-ticket votes cast in 2012 versus 2000 favors Republicans. About 7,750 more straight-ticket Democratic votes were cast in 2012 compared to 2000, but Republicans added an additional 8,500 or so straight-ticket voters during the same period.
Estimates of the number of straight-ticket and full-ballot votes cast in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 and the actual amounts cast in the 2012 presidential elections in the precincts currently comprising HD136 are shown below.
Subscribers can read the rest of this report.