# Precinct analysis: Comparing 2012 and 2008

Though the data isn’t yet posted on individual members’ webpages, I have gotten a copy of the 2012 election results by State Rep district, for which there was much rejoicing. The first question of interest is how much the 2008 results resembled the 2012 results in each district. I went by vote percentages as reported – that is, including third-party candidates – and compared Mitt Romney’s 2012 percentage in each district to John McCain’s 2008 percentage, and Obama 2012 to Obama 2008. I did this by taking the ratio of the 2012 percentage to the 2008 percentage. Statewide, Romney was three percent better than McCain – i.e., the ratio of Romney’s percentage (57.16) to McCain’s (55.45) is 1.03 – and 2012 Obama (41.38) was five percent worse than 2008 Obama (43.68), for a ratio of 0.95. If the difference were uniformly distributed around the state, you would expect Romney to have a 1.03 ratio in every district, and 2012 Obama to have a 0.95 ratio. Obviously, that didn’t happen, so I was interested in the places where each candidate did the best compared to 2008. Here’s a look at them:

```
Dist  McCain  Obama  Romney  Obama  R ratio  D ratio
====================================================
108    53.86  44.88   58.97  39.30     1.09     0.88
047    53.85  44.75   58.03  39.31     1.08     0.88
055    60.67  38.13   65.29  32.99     1.08     0.87
134    52.46  46.48   56.37  41.72     1.07     0.90
017    56.54  41.93   60.56  37.15     1.07     0.89
045    51.66  46.72   55.17  41.82     1.07     0.90
136    51.81  45.92   55.06  41.22     1.06     0.90
023    51.35  47.77   54.56  44.24     1.06     0.93
064    56.98  41.84   60.28  37.32     1.06     0.89
114    52.36  46.57   55.21  43.47     1.05     0.93
048    37.53  60.77   39.55  56.84     1.05     0.94
052    51.93  46.18   54.69  42.40     1.05     0.92
012    59.77  39.38   62.59  36.18     1.05     0.92
093    57.57  41.60   60.19  38.25     1.05     0.92
```

There were a number of other districts in which Romney ran at least five percent better than McCain – remember, that’s 5%, not five percentage points – but I’m really only interested in the reasonably competitive ones. Rep. Craig Eiland is the only member of the House to win a district that was not carried by his party’s Presidential candidate; I’m pretty sure Sen. Wendy Davis can say the same thing for her chamber, but I don’t have those numbers just yet. The only other Democratic district represented above is Rep. Donna Howard’s HD48, though it wasn’t enough of a difference to be worrisome to her. That chart has a lot of good news for the Republicans, since it contains a number of their least-safe seats. Many of these seats will still be hotly contested in 2014 – where else are Democrats going to go to add to their delegation? – but the GOP starts out with a bigger cushion than they might have expected.

And here are the districts of interest that were more Democratic in 2012:

```
Dist  McCain  Obama  Romney  Obama  R ratio  D ratio
====================================================
145    41.99  57.13   38.27  60.25     0.91     1.05
144    51.04  47.95   47.86  50.76     0.94     1.06
034    46.63  52.58   44.23  54.62     0.95     1.04
149    43.84  55.52   41.79  57.08     0.95     1.03
119    40.30  58.59   38.51  60.15     0.96     1.03
125    40.69  58.14   39.51  58.99     0.97     1.03
135    60.56  38.71   58.82  39.85     0.97     1.03
132    59.68  39.59   58.90  39.75     0.99     1.00
118    43.86  55.10   43.33  55.22     0.99     1.00
105    52.69  46.14   52.11  46.46     0.99     1.01
113    53.00  46.05   52.51  46.30     0.99     1.01
107    52.25  46.71   51.81  46.87     0.99     1.00
```

Again, I excluded the non-competitive seats. As above, mostly good news for Dems and their least-safe members, Eiland excluded. In two HDs where Democratic challengers ousted Republican incumbents (HDs 34 and 117), plus the open HD144, Dems had an easier time of it than you would have thought. There’s also some hope for pickups in 2014 or beyond, mostly with the three Dallas County seats.

Looking ahead to 2014, here are your “swing” districts, for some value of the term “swing”.

```
Dist  McCain    Obama  Romney   Obama   Hecht   Petty
=====================================================
017     56.54   41.93   60.56   37.15   53.13   40.61
064     56.98   41.84   60.28   37.32   57.23   36.38
094     59.62   39.45   60.27   38.09   57.45   37.73
093     57.57   41.60   60.19   38.25   57.17   37.98
097     57.62   41.41   59.55   38.91   57.30   38.25
138     59.30   39.82   59.16   39.29   57.48   39.00
108     53.86   44.88   58.97   39.30   58.66   36.49
132     59.68   39.59   58.90   39.75   57.32   39.41
135     60.56   38.71   58.82   39.85   57.09   39.77
096     57.97   41.39   58.58   40.20   55.68   40.73
047     53.85   44.75   58.03   39.31   55.30   37.87
065     56.11   43.04   57.51   40.83   55.62   39.89
032     56.40   42.57   56.91   41.43   52.98   42.12
134     52.46   46.48   56.37   41.72   56.41   39.30
115     54.91   43.86   55.37   43.08   53.74   41.67
114     52.36   46.57   55.21   43.47   54.98   41.33
045     51.66   46.72   55.17   41.82   51.11   41.39
136     51.81   45.92   55.06   41.22   51.07   40.33
112     54.89   44.03   55.01   43.48   53.01   42.79
052     51.93   46.18   54.69   42.40   50.70   42.05
023     51.35   47.77   54.56   44.24   49.41   46.77
102     52.18   46.64   53.01   45.31   52.01   43.53
054     51.20   47.93   52.90   45.73   49.92   45.71
113     53.00   46.05   52.51   46.30   50.34   46.10
105     52.69   46.14   52.11   46.46   49.18   46.28
043     51.45   47.94   52.05   46.92   46.72   49.10
107     52.25   46.71   51.81   46.87   49.73   46.29
144     51.04   47.95   47.86   50.76   44.08   52.33
117     46.49   52.52   46.71   51.84   43.46   52.79
034     46.63   52.58   44.23   54.62   40.11   56.07
078     43.64   55.31   44.05   54.29   40.84   53.47
118     43.86   55.10   43.33   55.22   38.76   57.79
041     42.16   57.05   42.28   56.54   38.86   57.22
149     43.84   55.52   41.79   57.08   40.46   56.95
074     41.15   57.91   41.51   56.93   36.18   57.25
148     41.43   57.49   41.07   56.58   38.79   55.59
048     37.53   60.77   39.55   56.84   37.43   54.95
125     40.69   58.14   39.51   58.99   36.03   60.35
050     38.01   60.27   38.78   57.75   36.33   56.25
```

Again, note that no one but Eiland won in a hostile district. Turncoat Republican JM Lozano gets partial credit for Michelle Petty’s plurality vote in HD43, but that’s at least partly a function of the unusually high Libertarian vote in that race, which generally suppressed Nathan Hecht’s percentages. Note how much more Hecht diverges from Romney than Petty does from Obama to see what I mean. Without factoring possible turnout differences into account, Dems have maybe six viable flip opportunities – Lozano, four Dallas seats, and HD54 – while the GOP has one clear shot and two other good ones. That’s assuming no further changes to the map, which may or may not be a good bet. Beyond that, we’ll have to see what the march of demographic change looks like and whether there’s anything to all this talk about investing in Texas Democratic infrastructure.