Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The SCOTX and CCA results

The state's highest courts also got a case of the crimson tide effect from yesterday.

Let's note before we look at those numbers, all of which are courtesy of the Texas Secretary of State's office, that the highest recorded percentage of the state's 14 million-plus registered voters participated in the race for governor, at 33.57%.  Texas has a 2013 population by the US Census of 26.45 million, and was projected in July of this year to be a smidge over 27 million.  But not all of those folks are of voting age, nor are able to vote because of citizenship status and other reasons.  The number of eligible voters in Texas -- what is called in demographer's parlance CVAP or citizen voting age population -- was estimated to be (thanks to Michael Li) 15.583 million in 2011, with a projected increase of about 700K per year (687K in 2011, up to 747K in 2014).

Or about 17.68 million, give or take.  Here's a table to start with if you want to check my math.

With all that in mind, when I have frequently said here that about half of Texas residents are not registered to vote, and about half of those registered do not bother to cast a ballot, you know where I'm coming from.  This quick and dirty method is a little generous to non-voting Texans in 2014; as Greg Abbott's high-water mark tells us, only a third of the state's registered voters, or  4.7 million, voted in the governor's race and he earned 2.784 million (or 59.25%) of those.  Update: Ted with more on this.

Another way to put it: a little over two and three-quarter million Texans -- or about the population of Houston and a few of its surrounding incorporated areas like Bellaire, Pasadena, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Katy, Baytown, Galveston, and so on -- voted for Greg Abbott for governor... which is about 10% of the population of the state.  He'll still consider that a mandate to do whatever he likes (not that anything was holding him back before, of course).

Now then, on to the TSC and CCA races.

-- Hecht (R) 59.6, Moody (D) 37.3, Oxford (L) 3.05%.  This is the virtual baseline for statewide Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians up and down the ballot.  Compare these percentages to the statewide results in the previous post as well; you'll find the deviations are only a point or two at most.

-- Brown 60.3 (R), Meyers (D) 36.5, Ash (L) 3.18%.

-- Boyd (R) 58.9, Benavides (D) 37.6, Fulton (L) 2.75, Waterbury (G) .74%.

Next is a Supreme Court race that had no Democratic candidate on the ballot but did have a Green one.  Leaving a statewide contest unchallenged by the blue team is the primary reason why Texas Greens are able to secure ballot access for the next election cycle.

-- Johnson (R)78.8, Koelsch (L) 11.95, Chisholm (G) 9.24%.

Democratic ticket-splitters appear to have gravitated to all three remaining parties on the ballot.  Phil Johnson received the highest number of votes of any Republican on the ballot -- more than John Cornyn, over a hundred thousand more than George P. Bush (who topped Greg Abbott by 30K).

Libertarian Goelsch, with 444,000-plus votes, got almost seven times the number of votes that Kathie Glass got.  When it comes to hotly-contested governor's races, Libertarians get scared and return to the GOP.  And Jim Chisholm's 391,00 votes was just the second-largest for Greens in the state.

What this race demonstrates is that Democrats first vote for Republicans, and then they vote for Libertarians and Greens in nearly equal measure when there's no D.  Another piece of evidence that refutes the tired myth that Greens somehow cause Democrats to lose.  And that's when Dems don't skip the race altogether (the undervotes in this contest, from the one directly above it, jumped to over 6% of the state's 14 million registered voters).

Democrats cause Democrats to lose.  But we knew that already from abysmal turnout.

-- Richardson (R) 59.8, Granberg (D) 36.57, Bennett (L) 2.93%.  With no Green in the race, we're back to a familiar pattern of vote distribution.

The two Court of Criminal Appeals races had a Republican defeating a Libertarian and a Green.  You'll notice the previous trend.

-- Yeary (R) 76.27, Parker (L) 13.25, Sanders-Castro (G) 10.47%.

Quanah Parker and Judith Sanders-Castro both benefited from their names and achieved the highest votes totals in Texas for Libertarian and Green Party candidates respectively.

-- Newell (R) 78.26, Strange III 13.16, Altgelt 8.57%.

This is the pattern as we have seen above.

More analysis of Harris County results tomorrow morning, followed by the Senate and gubernatorial races elsewhere across the country tomorrow afternoon or evening.

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