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Tuesday’s election results offer further evidence that Texas mirrors America, with urban voters strongly favoring Democrats, while rural and many suburban voters favor Republicans.
Republican Donald Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 227 of the state’s 254 counties, racking up an advantage of 1,697,593 votes.
His biggest vote yield came in Montgomery County, one of several suburban counties — like Collin, Denton and Parker — that turned in reliably high Republican votes. Tarrant was the most populous county in his column, turning in a pile of Republican votes in spite of Clinton’s victory in Fort Worth, its biggest city.
Trump also won many of the state’s mid-size cities and nearly all of its rural areas.
Clinton beat Trump in 27 counties by a total of 883,819 votes. That was enough to cut his overall margin in half, but not nearly enough to pull off a Texas upset.
Her wins came in some of the state’s biggest counties — Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Travis, El Paso, Hidalgo and Fort Bend. He won the vast majority of rural Texas, but not everything: Clinton took a few relatively unpopulated counties like Kenedy and Culberson.
Trump’s overall margin was smaller than Mitt Romney’s 2012 win in Texas. In fact, the Republican at the top of this year’s ticket got a smaller percentage of the overall vote in Texas than any of the eight Republicans running statewide here, a group that included candidates for the Railroad Commission and the state’s two highest courts. Conversely, Clinton got a higher percentage of the vote than any of the Democrats running statewide.
A win is a win is a win, and this year belonged to the Republicans. Their streaks are intact: They’ve won the last 10 presidential elections in Texas and every statewide race in every election since 1994. But one takeaway from this year’s contests is that Democrats reduced the normal Republican margins and their scattered blue spots on the Texas map — the state’s biggest cities — turned in stronger Democratic performances than they have in the past.