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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