Obama Won Dallas, Houston and San Antonio

By Alan Stewart Carl | Related entries in Democrats, Republicans, Texas

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Barack Obama lost Texas by eleven points. That’s why my state is always such an afterthought in presidential politics. We’re crimson red, right? Hold that thought.

Something interesting occurred in this election. While Obama improved on John Kerry’s overall state numbers by just six points, he won the counties where the state’s four largest cities are located. Dallas County went 57/42 for Obama, Harris County (Houston) went 50/49, Bexar County (San Antonio) went 52/47 and Travis County (Austin) went 64/35. Of those, only Travis County didn’t favor Bush four years ago.

Why does this matter? Traditionally, successful statewide candidates get their starts in the larger cities. If a national Democratic candidate can win Texas’ major cities, there is plenty of reason to believe locally tailored Democratic candidates can perform even better.

This reality should be of concern to the Republicans who currently dominate Texas politics. Democrats might not have time to build up their strength before the anticipated special-election for Senator in 2010 (Kay Bailey Hutchinson is set to retire), but Obama’s strong performance in the major cities here must give the Democrats the most hope they’ve had in 20 years. Particularly when you factor in that 54% of the state’s next wave of voters (the 18-30 year-olds) went for Obama.

I don’t predict Texas “going blue” anytime soon, but I think the state is trending more moderate and the days of one-party control are waning.

And that’s a peek at some local politics in the nation’s second most-populous state.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 and is filed under Democrats, Republicans, Texas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Obama Won Dallas, Houston and San Antonio”

  1. Dale Says:

    Dallas went about 49% for Kerry in 2004. I predicted Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio would go for Obama, along with Austin of course. So no, I was not shocked.

    Dallas also went for Democrats in a big way in 2006, with dozens of minor elected positions flipping to the Democratic Party. Our sheriff is a lesbian Hispanic Democrat, first elected in 2006.

    That trend continued in 2008, but I have a hard time believing it will spread much past the big cities unless Obama does really well as President.

    But even then, the problem is that we are pretty well off in Texas compared with a lot of other states. Much as I dislike and distrust our Republican governor (who only got 40% of the vote in 2006, I might add), he does seem to be doing a pretty good administrative job. So there’s not a whole lot Obama can do for us.

    I’m not saying Texas couldn’t become a swing state, but just don’t get disappointed if it doesn’t happen. Or let me put it this way, by the time it does happen, the Republicans might be back on top.

  2. Alan Stewart Carl Says:

    Dale, yeah, I expected the three big Texas cities to all go for Obama based on recent trends and changing demographics. I think what it does for Dems is give them bases from which to build a stronger party and “nuture” talented young politicians who could eventually compete on a statewide level.

    I also don’t foresee Texas becoming a swing state anytime in the next few elections. But it could become more moderate with more diversity among statewide elected officials.

  3. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Obama Won Dallas, Houston and San Antonio » Don't Cry Over Spilt Water Says:

    [...] Donklephant » Blog Archive » Obama Won Dallas, Houston and San Antonio [...]

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