Today our exploration of straight-ticket voting trends in competitive or potentially competitive districts turns to the compact HD137, comprised mostly of the Chinatown, Sharpstown, Westchase and Woodlake/Briar Meadow neighborhoods of western Houston. About two thirds of the district’s population speaks a language other than English at home.
HD137 has been represented by a Democrat since 1981, although it has been significantly redrawn since then. Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston) represents the diverse district today and is seeking his third term since succeeding former Rep. Scott Hochberg (D-Houston) in 2012. Wu faces Republican Kendall Baker, a Houston pastor, and Libertarian Dan Biggs, a Houston resident.
The precincts currently comprising HD137 are voting increasingly in favor of Democratic candidates. After narrowly supporting George W. Bush (52%) for president in 2000, these precincts have been carried by Democrats John Kerry (55%) in 2004 and Barack Obama (63% and 65%) in 2008 and 2012.
Since 2000, the number of Democratic straight-ticket votes has increased by nearly 5,000. In 2012, Democratic straight-ticket voters produced 46% of all ballots cast, up from 28% in 2000. Republican straight-ticket voting has remained largely flat over the period, averaging 25% of all votes cast in what is now HD137.
Because HD137’s boundaries were adjusted in 2013, we are forced to estimate the number of straight-ticket votes in 2012. Estimates of the number of straight-ticket and full-ballot votes cast in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections are also shown below.
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