Last entry in this series, and like the East Texas entry, there’s a whole lot of negative numbers to look at.
County Romney Obama Trump Clinton Trump Biden Shift ========================================================================= Ector 24,010 8,118 25,020 10,249 32,586 11,310 -5,384 Jones 4,262 1,226 4,819 936 5,621 989 -1,596 Kerr 17,274 4,338 17,727 4,681 20,858 6,510 -1,412 Lubbock 63,469 26,271 65,651 28,023 78,560 39,757 -1,605 Midland 35,689 8,286 36,973 10,025 45,463 12,258 -5,802 Potter 18,918 7,126 19,630 7,657 22,732 9,867 -1,073 Randall 41,447 7,574 43,462 7,657 50,597 12,750 -3,974 Taylor 32,904 9,750 33,250 10,085 39,439 14,489 -1,796 Tom Green 26,878 9,294 27,494 9,173 32,129 12,106 -2,439 Wichita 29,812 10,525 27,631 8,770 31,930 13,024 381
Just as a reminder, Ector County is Odessa, Jones and Taylor are Abilene, Potter and Randall are Amarillo, Tom Green is San Angelo, Kerr is Kerrville, and Wichita is Wichita Falls. Lubbock and Midland, I think you can figure out.
It’s important to keep in mind that these are some decent-sized metropolitan areas, with some fairly populous cities. Lubbock has over 250K people, Amarillo has 200K, Abilene 170K, and all of the others except Kerrville have over 100K. I obsess over this fact because I believe that we can make progress in this part of the state by working on these mid-sized urban areas. I tend to focus more on Lubbock because it’s the biggest city, with a big public university in it, and there’s already the beginning of a Democratic-friendly State Rep district in it, but I don’t believe it ends there.
Of course, the numbers themselves put a damper on my enthusiasm. Midland and Ector had big increases for Trump after moving closer to Dems in 2016. Maybe that was an oilpatch thing, it’s as good an explanation as any. Most other counties had decent increases for Biden over Clinton, they just had larger increases for Trump the second time around. It’s a start, and I’ll take it where I can find it. If you had forced me to pick one, I would not have guessed that Wichita would be the one county to move in a Democratic direction 2012, however modestly.
I don’t have any bright ideas to add to what I’ve been saying over the course of this series. Each part of the state is different, and they all have their challenges and opportunities. This part has reasonably populous metro areas, and I have to believe that if we can eventually flip Tarrant County, we can begin to make progress in at least some of these counties. That’s going to take resources, it’s going to take investment in local races (which the TDP has begun doing in recent years), and it’s going to take messaging and strategy. I’m just trying to get the conversation started. As I’ve said many times, either we figure out a way to bend the curve outside of the big metro areas, or we make the task in those big metro areas that much harder. The rest is up to us. I hope this series has been useful. As always, let me know what you think.