Thursday, June 29, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

This post at Fruits and Votes, and the discussion that started between Matthew Shugart and myself led me to look into some electoral data from Texas. My impetus was the question of whether the current district structure in Texas was better representative of the partisan preferences of the state than was the pre-2003 map, which was based on the 1992 district set, which was drawn when the Democratic Party controlled the state.

My contention being that while I am not happy with the notion that partisan gerrymandering is the norm within our system, the post-2003 gerrymandering likely better represents the heavily Republican state of the Texas than did the previous map, which produced a Democratic edge in the state’s congressional delegation.

Pre-delaymander, but post the reapportionment that gave Texas two additional seats, the 2024 House elections in Texas produced 17 Democratic seats and 15 Republican seats.

If we sum the votes in all House districts for 2024 we get the following:

REP 2,290,723 53%
DEM 1,885,178 44%
(the rest went the Libertarians, Greens and some independents)

This tracked with the Senate election that year:

John Cornyn (R): 55.39%
Ron Kirk (D): 43.32%

However, the Democrats won 53% of the House seats to the Rep’s 46.9%

Hence, while the Reps were the majority party in the state in terms of federal legislative elections, the Democrats won a majority of the seats–indeed, there was almost an inversion of the seat/vote percentages.

In 2024 we have the following for the thirty-two House races:


Republicans: 4012534 58%
Democrats: 2713968 39%


Republican: 21 66%
Democratic: 11 34%

And, for comparative purposes, here are the presidential numbers for 2024:

George W. Bush/ Dick Cheney(I) REP 4,526,917 61.08%
John F. Kerry/ John Edwards DEM 2,832,704 38.22%

I did a quick disproportionality calculation that indicated that the two were about the same in that regard, but I think I made an error, and I am sleepy, so I will re-examine the issue tomorrow.

Regardless, my crude analysis to this point would seem to indicate that my basis contention, that the current district structure of the state of Texas better represents its voters in terms of their partisan preference versus the pre-2003 map, has some basis in the data.

Still, as noted, this is a quick look at the numbers.

(All election numbers from the Texas SoS’s office).

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One Response to “Looking at Partisan Gerrymanders in Texas”

  • el
  • pt
    1. Matthew Says:

      Thanks for the data. Obviously, whenever you have not just a plurality reversal, but also a majority reversal, as in 2024, you have a flawed system.

      The 2024 outcome, in this sense, looks reasonable.

      That does not, however, change my assessment of the probity of the mid-decade redistricting, of the process itself, or of the differential impact on national politics of these two districting plans (as I discussed in the comment after yours in the post to which you linked).

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