We continue our look into straight-ticket voting trends in today’s competitive or potentially competitive districts by looking into HD54, which is comprised of southwestern Bell Co. and all of Lampasas Co. Most of Killeen and all of Harker Heights and Salado are located in the Bell Co. portion of the district.
Democrats are competitive in the Bell Co. portion of HD54, but Lampasas Co. is strongly Republican, and it tips the district safely Republican in all but the best Democratic years.
In 2008, Barack Obama carried the Bell Co. portion of HD54, and about 1,400 more Democratic straight-ticket votes were cast there than Republican straight-ticket votes. However, Lampasas Co. voters preferred John McCain by a 3-to-1 margin, and there were 2,100 more Republican straight-ticket voters than Democratic. McCain carried HD54 as it is currently configured, 52%-48%, and Republicans had a straight-ticket voting advantage of less than 1,000 votes districtwide.
Four years later, the Republican straight-ticket voting advantage grew to 2,500 votes, and Mitt Romney carried the district, 54%-46%, over President Obama. That same year, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock won a contested re-election race, 58%-42%. Aycock received more votes than Romney, and his opponent received 2K fewer votes than Obama.
Estimates of the number of straight-ticket and full-ballot votes cast in the 2008 presidential election and the actual number of those votes in the 2012 presidential election are shown below.
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