Democratic Gains Make Texas One of the “Most Balanced” States

Republicans Lose Lead in Party Identification
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A recent Gallup Survey report confirms that Texas is no longer a solid Republican state. In fact, it lists Texas as among the “most balanced political states” in party identification.  Gallup conducted over 19,000 surveys in Texas during 2008 as part of its Gallup Daily tracking polls.  The surveys show that Democrats in Texas now have a slight advantage in party identification, 43% to 41%, a clear reversal from the recent past.

Texas Party Identification
 200220062008
Democrat/Lean Democrat39.6%42.0%43.4%
Republican/Lean Republican52.4%50.0%41.0%

The advance by Democrats is not accidental. Under one party Republican control, Texas ranks last or near last on virtually every issue that affects quality of life for Texas families. Republicans like Rick Perry, Kay Bailey Hutchison and David Dewhurst have failed as leaders. At the same time, Democrats have reorganized politically, targeted resources carefully and nominated mainstream candidates who put ideology aside to solve problems.

Over the last two election cycles, Texas Democrats have:

  • Closed the Republican margin in the State House from 14 to only 2 seats
  • Gained a clear advantage in Harris County
  • Established dominance in Dallas County
  • Defeated an incumbent Republican State Senator for the first time in a decade
  • For the time since 1964, the Democratic nominee for President carried Harris, Dallas, Travis and Bexar Counties in 2008.

Republicans Still have Some Advantages

Certainly, Republicans still have an overall advantage in Texas. The sheer size of Texas presents an enormous challenge for statewide Democratic candidates – Harris County alone has a larger population than the entire state of New Mexico. Partisan Republican-drawn State House, State Senate and Congressional Districts give Republican candidates a built-in advantage by minimizing the voting strength of independent voters and minority citizens. Also, incumbency and promoting policies favorable to wealthy special interests provide Republicans with a financial advantage.

Despite Republican advantages, however, Democrats are making real progress, earning the trust of both voters and financial backers. The recent Gallup Report confirms recent Texas Democratic advances and should give confidence to voters and donors alike who want an alternative to the current failed Texas Republican leadership.

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