Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024
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Dallas County Remained Predictably Blue, but the Math Didn’t Work for Statewide Races

Dallas County Democrats pretty much swept their races. But with lower voter turnout, it didn't help the math for statewide races much.
John Bryant, left, and Sarah Lamb, East Dallasites who ran against each other for House District 114, talk to Ally Raskin outside Samuell-Grand Recreation Center. Bryant would win the race. Jeffrey McWhorter

Dallas County’s big blue wave may have swept nearly every countywide race, but in statewide races, it didn’t help the math much. 

The last report from the Dallas County Elections Department, which was produced at 5 a.m., shows that 623,306 voters cast ballots. That is not quite 44 percent of the county’s 1,422,849 registered voters. (Note: the total number of registered voters may differ on the county’s election website, but county elections chief Michael Scarpello says that’s due to a clerical error on the part of the third-party vendor that maintains the website.)

According to historical election results, 66 percent of the county’s 1,400,730 registered voters cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election. In the last midterm election, in 2018, about 55 percent of the county’s 1,338,788 registered voters went to the polls.

We’ll have more information after the votes are canvassed, which happens in 10-14 days, but here’s what we’re seeing at first look:

There was a fairly robust turnout in North Dallas, Preston Hollow, and the Park Cities. The county’s map shows most precincts logging nearly 60 percent turnout or higher. 

Some areas hit 71 percent or more. That includes one precinct in Far North Dallas, a section of Lakewood between Lower Greenville and White Rock Lake, and a section of Bluffview near University Park. 

Lower turnout was found in some concerning pockets of the county. These include Vickery Meadow (22-30 percent); precincts near Bachman Lake and Love Field (17-19 percent); a precinct between Cedar Crest and Julius Schepps Freeway (19 percent); and the stretch along I-635 east of the High Five, with the exclusion of the Lake Highlands precincts (15-40 percent). Many of these areas contain lower-income households.

In most Dallas County contests, Democratic candidates posted double-digit leads in their races. Candidates for statewide races enjoyed sizable leads in the predictably blue county, but it wasn’t enough to overcome statewide deficits. In an analysis of early voting in the state’s 254 counties as compared to the 2018 turnout, the Texas Tribune found that between the 216 solidly red counties (6.16 million registered voters) and the three solidly blue counties (Dallas, Harris, and Travis with 6.11 million registered voters), it was statistically a dead heat. Which meant that to win statewide races, Democrats needed to pick up more votes from the 3.67 million registered voters in the six rapidly changing counties (which include Tarrant, Denton, and Collin counties) and the 1.74 million registered voters in the 28 border counties. That didn’t happen.

We’ll have a bigger election recap later this week.


Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.

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