There are Democrats in Texas! We know because we have a lot of them right here in Dallas County.
The last blog posting last Friday titled “Texas is a Red State” all but required me to add today’s posting as a corollary: Texas is Red but Dallas is Blue. I’m further compelled to finish the statement as a children's rhyme, “bunches of Democrats are in the county, what can you do?”
We Republicans live this reality every day. We’re strangers in a strange land. No, it wasn’t always this way, and it doesn’t have to remain this way, but it certainly is for now. Dallas County is one of the Democrat strongholds in Texas.
There are approximately 1.4-million registered voters in Dallas County. Currently, about 20% of them are Republicans and 46% of them are Democrats. The remainder, about 34%, are swing voters, also known as independents. If half of the swing votes break our way, we will still lose county-wide elections by 150,000 votes. This doesn’t require political calculus; it is just simple math; mechanics.
To be sure, as was demonstrated on November 8th, the sheer number of Democrats in Dallas County is a formidable group to overcome in county-wide elections. In the last year, they used their local power to strengthen their local advantages in redistricting (local gerrymandering) to solidify their power within the county. They are also organized and can turn out enough of their voters to handily win any county-wide race. They don’t have to worry about turnout as we do when their top line is so large.
On November 8th, Republicans lost every county-wide race.
In Dallas County, Republicans can win in Congressional districts and Senatorial districts, but the county-wide races such as for the Commissioners Court and Judges are races where the sheer numbers of Democrats are tough to overcome.
Republicans are the minority party in Dallas County; at least for now.
How Dallas and its Democrat dominance play into statewide politics require some context; a political geography lesson.
In addition to Dallas County, similar political party profiles exist in Harris County (Houston), Bexar County (San Antonio) and Travis County (Austin) which, collectively, are called the four Big Blue Counties in Texas.
Yes, these four counties are Democrat-heavy, but there are not enough to win state races or break the dominance of Republican control of political power in Texas.
November 8th also provides a clear-cut example of how political geography and regionalism play out.
Politically, Texas is composed of four regions:
- The Four Big Blue Counties
- Six Rapidly Changing Counties
- 28 Border Counties
- 216 Solid Red Counties
It would be a mistake to think that the four large Democratic urban enclaves control the state. They don’t even come close.
Yes, they are a powerful force, but Texas is a very big place and inherently conservative by nature. Even the big numbers the Democrats can run up in their urban enclaves cannot overcome the Republican base throughout Texas.
According to the Texas Tribune (https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2022/texas-2022-election-results), this is how the counties broke for Governor Abbott:
Beto took 20 counties out of 256 counties in Texas. That math won’t make you Governor. The Governor beat Beto by 11 points.
Expressed in their political regions, here is how Tuesday played out for Governor Abbott and Beto O’Rourke (also from the same Texas Tribune link cited above):
As far as how liberal Democrats fare in Texas as a whole, the results in the 2022 Governor’s race present a classic example. The Democrats run a very leftist candidate, and spend a ton of money (much of it from out-of-state liberal enclaves) but are decisively defeated.
One is almost tempted to say, “Here endth the lesson.” However, I am not nearly foolish enough to think for one minute that the Democrats have learned this lesson in basic political mechanics. They will surely keep running liberal politicians for state offices but will surely keep going down to defeat.
The Democrat elites in the Four Big Blue Counties have sway over who their Party runs in the State but they always fall victim to either their leftist ideological tests or a Chauvinistic Localism wherein they think what works in Dallas will surely work throughout the State. They think what plays well in a millionaire’s fund-raiser on Armstrong Parkway will sound good in the Ranchers Supply Store in Hereford. Sorry, boys and girls, it doesn’t. Hereford is the county seat of Deaf Smith County where Governor Abbott took almost 81% of last Tuesday’s votes.
No, we have not seen the last of leftist Democrats running for Governor of Texas, or any other of the State-wide races for that matter. They will keep setting them up and Texas will keep voting them down. The Democrats keep going the same things over and over, each time expecting a different outcome. Note to self: look up Einstein Insanity.
Dallas County is one of the Democrat strongholds in Texas; strongly held indeed, at least for now anyway. But who says that Democrats have a lock on Dallas County in perpetuity? Things change.
One of those things that changed has been the Dallas County Republican Party itself. We are re-inventing the energy by which we engage voters. We are re-committed to changing things in the County. During the last 15 months, we have revitalized the County Party and have spent over a year executing a plan to win. We are in the ascendency. No this won’t be easy to accomplish, and results won’t be immediate. But not to worry, we’re a tenacious bunch determined to take back Dallas County regardless of how long it takes. We’re also not afraid of the hard work that will be required. For over a year, we have had our sleeves rolled up going about the work.
What we’re going in Dallas can become a model for the other Big Blue Counties in Texas.