Counties of interest, part four: Around Bexar

Part 1 – Counties around Harris
Part 2 – Counties around Dallas/Tarrant
Part 3 – Counties around Travis

Pop quiz, hotshot: Close your eyes, or cover the table below, and name for me the seven counties that border Bexar. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

County       Romney    Obama    Trump  Clinton    Trump    Biden    Shift
Atascosa      7,461    5,133    8,618    4,651   12,020    5,865   -3,827
Bandera       7,426    1,864    8,163    1,726   10,050    2,503   -1,985
Comal        39,318   11,450   45,136   14,238   62,260   24,369  -10,023
Guadalupe    33,117   15,744   36,632   18,391   47,423   28,706   -1,344
Kendall      14,508    3,043   15,700    3,643   20,064    6,008   -2,591
Medina       11,079    4,784   12,085    4,634   15,599    6,731   -2,573
Wilson       12,218    4,821   13,998    4,790   18,457    6,350   -4,710

Unless you’re a true geography nerd, or just a very aware (or well-traveled) resident of the area, I’m guessing you didn’t get all seven. Comal, which you pass through on your way to Austin, and Guadalupe, to the east as you travel I-10 to or from Houston, are the gimmes. They’re also the two largest, with Comal and more recently Guadalupe blending into Bexar from a development perspective. I’ve talked a lot about Comal County, which has tripled in population since 1990 and which puts up big numbers for the Republican Party; I call it Montgomery County’s little brother, but it’s doing its best to try to catch up. I think it feels a little to me like Montgomery because it’s also this booming suburb a few miles away from the big city, with enough distance to be its own separate entity but with any remaining vacant space between them rapidly vanishing.

Guadalupe, on the other hand, feels more remote to me because for most of my time in Texas, there was very little between Seguin and Loop 1604, and even then there wasn’t much between 1604 and Loop 410. That change is more recent, and to my eyes more dramatic since I don’t travel that way all that often and had just been very used to the former emptiness. It’s really interesting to me that while Comal is still getting redder, Guadalupe is more or less holding in place, with Republican growth only slightly outpacing Democratic growth as its population has blossomed. Guadalupe feels more rural to me while Comal feels more suburban, but maybe that’s because I’ve spent much more time in New Braunfels (I have family there) than in Seguin. I’d love to hear more about this from anyone in this part of the state.

I just don’t know much about the other counties, from the north through the west and around to the south and southeast of Bexar. I’ve been to Kendall (in particular, the town of Boerne) and Bandera, but not since the 80s. Kendall and Medina seem like long-term candidates for suburban sprawl, as both have a piece of I-10 and Medina has I-35 running through it. I know nothing at all about Wilson and Atascosa. I’m going to stop here because I don’t want to babble, but again if someone reading this can tell us more about the future prospects in these counties, please do so.

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4 Responses to Counties of interest, part four: Around Bexar

  1. blank says:

    Pop quiz, hotshot: Close your eyes, or cover the table below, and name for me the seven counties that border Bexar.

    Off of the top of my head, I named Bandera, Wilson, Comal, mispronounced Atascosa, and named “the county that Seguin is in”, so I will give myself 4 + some partial credit.

    I predict Bexar will get a new state house district, bringing it to 11. Of the surrounding counties, the 3 northern one are getting partial districts, while the other 4 have either no change or are losing very small partial districts. The net gain of the 7 counties is about 15% of a new district, which is mostly in Comal and Guadalupe.

  2. Marc says:

    I know you are looking at raw numbers in your analysis when you say counties like Comal and Montgomery are going backwards because the raw vote differential is larger. But if you look at percentages, they are moving to be less red. Comal went from 22.55% in 2012, 23.98% in 2016, and 27.81% in 2020; In Montgomery, the numbers are 18.97% in 2012, 22.26% in 2016, and 27.39% in 2020.

    If you look at new voters, the numbers are 36.0% of new voters voted for the top Democrat in Comal County over 2012, and 37.2% over 2016. In Montgomery County, it is 42.3% over 2012, and 43.5% over 2016.

    And in 2022, I anticipate that Montgomery County will go from 1 out of 100 blue precincts to maybe as many as 6 blue precincts (probably 3-4) out of likely 106-108 precincts, almost all in the southern part of the county around The Woodlands. Will either county go blue in the near future? Of course not, but if both counties keep moving in the right direction, it will still be an improvement. And we might get a competitive house district (assuming it isn’t gerrymandered away) It is just that we are coming from a much deeper hole than Collin or Williamson counties.

  3. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Parts of Comal is kind of like Harrison AR, Colorado Spgs. and the Idaho Panhandle.

    It is a destination for dead ender extremists.

  4. Marc, I in no way mean to cast aspersions on Comal or Montgomery. You guys are doing great work under tough circumstances, and I have nothing but respect. I’m just trying to put these numbers into perspective. We are making progress, but there’s still a lot to do.

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