Hey Austin: Dallas Is Texas’ Bluest County (Yes. I’m Throwing Down)

In my last blog, I noted that sports statistics and political statistics are wonky pursuits of mine. They are for lots of folks. In both cases, one of the reasons we love them is that they give us “bragging rights.”

Who’s the greatest college football team of all-time? Go to the stats. They’ll tell you.

Except when you stumble onto one of those years when the stats can be read different ways, and The Powers That Be proclaim a “split” national champion.

We’re kinda dealing with the same thing when it comes to Democratic politics and bragging rights in Texas.

For decades, the twin assumptions have been that Dallas is one of Texas’ most conservative counties; and Austin is, unquestionably, it’s most liberal.

My last blog put the first myth to rest. Dallas is most definitely not Texas’ most conservative county. In fact, it’s not even “Red” anymore.

To most, that’s mind-blowing enough. Oh, but let’s make that explosion go nuclear.

I claim Dallas is Texas’ Bluest County.

Again, brains just blew up all over Travis County. Which is a shame, since they take such care to avoid such environmental catastrophes down there.

From one way of parsing the data –total number of Democratic voters– Dallas is Texas’ “Bluest” County. In fact, it’s not even close. Dallas blows Austin out of the water.

Again, as with the previous blog, the best data is presidential election data. So, let’s look at 2012, arguably a high-turnout election in both counties, since they lean to the left, and there was a popular candidate (Obama) running for office.

Here’s what happened:

As you can see, Dallas had hundreds-of-thousands more Democratic voters than Austin did. In fact, almost double. Seen from the total number of human beings who “lean” to the left, Dallas has twice the number Austin does.

Now, I am sure those blown-Austin-brains are now shrieking, “But the percentage is higher here!”

OK. Let’s look at that:

As you can see, Austin in fact still does hold the percentage lead. But not by much. They lead by four points. And, more than that, I’ll bet you good money most of you reading this blog had no idea it was that close.

Honesty time here. I’m politically savvy enough to know it’s unlikely Dallas overtakes Austin in this area any time soon. That last four percent will be a tough needle to move here. And I’m guessing it’s unlikely to shrink down there.

So, my dear beloved Austin friends, let me thrown you a bone: Feel free to cling to percentages.

Heck, it’s in the data. And they say “the data don’t lie.”

What we’ve got here is a situation much like Darden Smith sings:

“Logic lives in a bucket ‘o paint…maybe I’m wrong, but maybe I ain’t…cause both can be spread with no trouble at all…”

So, my beloved Austin friends, feel free to keep telling yourselves you’re Texas’ “Bluest” County.

But, I’m gonna throw it down that Dallas is.

And I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of the debates we’ll have about this for this next decade to come.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

One thought on “Hey Austin: Dallas Is Texas’ Bluest County (Yes. I’m Throwing Down)

  1. I'm gonna 'throw down' and ask why does it matter who is 'bluer' if the goal is to get the best candidates in the seats? Btw… you forgot the fact that Dallas has more people than Austin. You might wanna check your math with a per capita add up. But otherwise, who seriously gives a crap? You do win on sounding like child who thinks they've won a prize. Congrats on that, I think.

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