August 12, 2005
The most liberal city in Texas

Take that, you smug Austinites.

Nice going, People's Republic of Dallas.

The home of America's Team and the Texas School Book Depository is, by a long shot, Texas' liberal bastion, according to the Bay Area Center for Voting Research.

The nonprofit think tank based in Berkeley, Calif., (a town that knows liberals when it sees them) ranked 237 U.S. cities on the liberal-to-conservative spectrum, based on results from the 2004 presidential election.

The group named Austin the 93rd most liberal city in the land, just slightly bluer on the electoral map than Virginia Beach and Salt Lake City.

Dallas was 32nd, two slots more liberal than Madison, Wis.

Um, okay. One little thing:

2004 General Election Results - Dallas County

Bush/Cheney 346,246 50.34%
Kerry/Edwards 336,641 48.95%

2004 General Election Results - Travis County

Bush/Cheney 147,885 41.99%
Kerry/Edwards 197,235 56.01%

I'm just saying.

The full study, in all its goofiness, is here. Houston managed to finish 177th, just ahead of San Antonio (#175). I'd comment further, but it's too silly to bother. Via Kimberly.

UPDATE: OK, OK, I recognize that they went by city data (which, alas, isn't so readily available online) instead of county data, though I note that the Associated Press made the same comparison I did. I suppose the city of Dallas could go 75% for Kerry, which would mean the rest of Dallas County would have gone for Bush by about the same margin. I find it a little hard to believe that the city of Houston (a bit more than half the population of Harris County) went for Bush with over 53%, though. The last three times someone ran for Mayor as a Republican (Orlando Sanchez twice, Rob Mosbacher before him) they lost, while Annise Parker easily won a runoff to be City Controller in 2003. Mostly, since Harris County overall went for Bush by a 54.75% margin, this would imply that the non-Houston portion of Harris is a lot less Republican than it gives every other indication of being - in contrast to the city of Houston, all Harris countywide offices are held by Republicans.

So, while I concede this isn't as silly as I first thought it was, until I can see their source data I remain skeptical. Towards that end, I've sent them an email enquiring about this. If I get a response, I'll print it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 12, 2005 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

Did they not do any per capita adjustment or what?

Posted by: Kriston Capps on August 12, 2005 11:34 AM

The story was abt counties NOT cities. To compare Dallas County votes in the presidential election and not separate out the city is lame.

Of course the county is less liberal than the city. Please try to qualify the comparison. Gore, Tony Sanchez, Ron Kirk, Kerry ALL carried Houston NONE of them carried Harris County.

I understand the reason Dallas County elected a couple of Democratic Judges and a Latina, Lesbian Democratic Sheriff last year while in Harris County ZERO Demos were elected is b/c Dallas County does NOT have suburbs as Harris County has FM 1960, CY-Fair, Copperfield, Spring, Klein-Forest, Tomball, Jersey Village and Pasadena, West University and Bellaire etc.

In Dallas area more of the suburbs are outside Dallas County, hence were the Republicans and their votes are fleeing.

Posted by: Burt Levine on August 12, 2005 11:59 AM

Living smack dab in the middle of the liberal bastion that is Dallas County, I can tell you that it is far from it; however, we did manage to elect a lesbian for sheriff and were less than 10K votes from breaking 50/50 for Bush and Kerry, which is even more amazing since Highland Park and University Park are all rich, white Republicans (for the most part). So, while this is a silly survey, I'd rather be stuck in Austin than Dallas any day, and it's not just because of the political climate.

Posted by: Alan W on August 12, 2005 12:09 PM

It helps if you read the research methodology. The researchers looked only at the City of Dallas and City of Austin, not Dallas County and Travis County, respectively. According to their data, Kerry took 75% of the City of Dallas vote.

That is liberal. (yay!)

Posted by: precinct1233 on August 12, 2005 1:15 PM

Say WHAT ?!?!?!?!?!?

:^D :^D :^D :^D

Posted by: ttyler5 on August 12, 2005 1:33 PM

precinct1233: I had a feeling!

Posted by: Alan W on August 12, 2005 3:38 PM

All in all I'd still rather be in Austin.

(Hell, I'd rather be in Austin over Houston)

But that's just me.


Posted by: Sedosi on August 12, 2005 6:17 PM

A Democratic precinct chair in Dallas County, Tom Blackwell actually calculated the results in the City of Dallas. This includes the portions of the city of Dallas in Collin and Denton Counties as well. Kerry won Dallas by 54,000 votes, Gore won by 31,000. Still, I would still guess though, that even though Kerry won Travis County by 50,000 votes, he probably won the City of Austin by more than 54,000 since I would be surprised if Kerry's margin doesn't go up significantly when you take out Westlake, Lakeway, Lago Vista, Pflugerville (although it's trending Dem) and the Travis County portions of Round Rock.

City of Dallas Results:

John F. Kerry 200,854
George W. Bush 146,952

Gore/Lieberman - 167,777
Bush/Cheney - 136,350

Posted by: Byron L on August 12, 2005 8:01 PM

ok, after looking at the numbers, most of it looks resonable, but Dallas is flat out incorrect. I see that Austin was 59% Liberal, and based on the Dallas results I would suggest that it should be about 57% Liberal (since that was roughly Kerry's percentage in the city), but 75% is completely incorrect. Someone should figure out where they got that number, because it's at least 15% off.

Posted by: Byron L on August 12, 2005 8:39 PM

Houston and Austin have incorporated more of their affluent white suburbs within their city limits than Dallas has. Still there must be some kind of mathematical error in arriving at that 75% number.

Anyway you would think that the numbers for the whole metropolitan area would be more significant than for the separate cities and suburbs within it.

Posted by: bill on August 12, 2005 9:52 PM

One possible explanation might be if the Center didn't realize that Dallas also contained those (basically WASP Republican) precincts in the two other counties, and only figured on the basis of the Dallas County part of the city.

The whole thing is still an example of "garbage in, garbage out" if you are trying to find out which cities are most LIBERAL. To paraphrase our former U.S. Senator, "I know liberals. Liberals are friends of mine. Senator Kerry was no liberal." That supporter of the Patriot Act, advocate of more troops for the Preemptive War On Iraq (even calling for a "voluntary" draft if you wanted to graduate from high school), and unquestioning backer of the War On Drug Users, was an all too typical moderate establishment corporatist Democrat. Sure, lots of us voted for him as far better than Bush (and still would, given the same choice), but the vote totals in that race are no way to determine a city's ideology.

Posted by: Bill Howell on August 14, 2005 10:10 AM

Well, there is sign that says "Entering University Park City Limits," so maybe they excluded University Park in their analysis of Dallas. That could bring Dallas up several notches.

Posted by: blank on August 14, 2005 11:08 AM

I still think that the real, and apparently uncontested, question is how and when did Dallas become more liberal than Houston. When I was growing up in the Houston area in the 70s and early 80s, Houston was clearly more liberal than Dallas.

Posted by: Jeb on August 15, 2005 3:45 PM

more liberal than madison, wi? crack smoking idiots.

Posted by: paperpusher on August 16, 2005 10:57 AM