How Did Texas Turn Out?

Much of the state’s vote tallies came out as expected but Harris County was home to a big surprise at the polls this year.

By Alexandra HartNovember 8, 2016 12:22 pm

It both seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago – after polls showing a narrowing of the national race, a point in the contest a few weeks ago, some veteran political watchers were actually entertaining the notion that Hillary Clinton could top the Republican nominee in Texas.

In the stark light of hard data, the story of what happened at the ballot box in Texas is far more complex.

Mark P. Jones, a political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, says about three-quarters of Texans voted early this cycle. That meant an increase in the aggregate vote but about the same portion of registered voters turned out this year as compared to previous years, about 60 percent, and about 46 percent of the voting age population.

“[Those numbers] will once again place Texas down in the bottom five or six nationwide,” he says. “Statewide there wasn’t that much of a surprise. Donald Trump won by nine points, which is less than say John McCain’s 11.5 percent and Mitt Romney’s 16 percent, but it still was substantial.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– The big surprise in Harris County

– What happened in Fort Bend County

– How the Latino vote looked in pockets across the state