Once again, Texas led all states in straight-party voting. No state’s voters came close to casting more straight-party votes than Texans, and no other state saw straight-party votes represent a greater share of all votes cast than Texas.
Texans cast a record 5.6M straight-party votes in the 2016 general election, a 13% increase over the previous record set in 2012, and straight-party votes comprised a record 63% of all votes cast in the general election, up slightly from the previous record set in 2012.
Ten states gave voters the option of casting a single vote for all candidates of their preferred party for the 2016 general election. In Michigan, a federal court order was required to preserve voters’ ability to cast straight-party ballots after the legislature there tried to abolish it in 2015. Ten other states have abolished or stopped using their straight-party voting option since 1994.
Calculating straight-party votes is challenging because states frequently do not collect it, and some counties do not record it or report it. For this analysis, we obtained statewide data from Iowa, Kentucky and Utah. We were able to locate data from every county in Alabama and South Carolina. We obtained data from the 25 most populous counties in Indiana, 15 of the 21 counties in Michigan where at least 50K votes were cast, and 20 of the 35 most populous counties in Pennsylvania. We relied on media reports for Oklahoma. In Texas, we obtained data from 243 of the state’s 254 counties – the most we have ever received.
At least 180 Texas counties reported record levels of straight-party voting – total straight-party votes cast, share of all ballots cast, or both – in 2016. Straight-party voters cast more than two thirds of all votes cast for president in at least 29 counties. To put this in perspective, straight-party voters cast two thirds or more of the vote in just eight counties in 2012, three in 2008 and none in 2004, based on available data.
©2017 Texas Election Source LLC