ACC Report Shows Straight-Ticket Voting in Texas Reaches Record High

An analysis from Austin Community College’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies (CPPPS) reveals straight-ticket voting in presidential elections reached a record high in Texas this year.

In the 50 counties that represent the vast majority of ballots cast in Texas for the November election, 64 percent of votes were straight ticket. The previous record for straight-ticket votes in a presidential race was about 58 percent, set in 2008.

“We’re seeing a marked rise in the percentage of voters who cast ballots using the straight-ticket method,” says Peck Young, CPPPS director. “That reflects an increasingly polarized electorate in Texas along political party or political ‘brand’ lines.”

The Republican Party received approximately 54 percent of straight-ticket votes in Texas in this year’s election. Democrats received 45 percent, and Libertarians and the Green Party received less than 1 percent of straight-ticket votes.

“It’s interesting that some members of the Texas Legislature are considering the elimination of straight-ticket voting, despite its clear popularity,” says Professor Larry Willoughby of ACC’s History Department, who prepared the report. “It’s even more remarkable that this proposal is coming from Republican legislators – and our study showed it’s the Republican Party benefiting most from straight-ticket voting.”

The analysis also showed Republicans overwhelmingly won the Texas swing vote (those who did not vote straight ticket) in the presidential and U.S. Senate races, with 63 percent of the swing vote going to Gov. Mitt Romney and nearly 62 percent going to Ted Cruz.

The study analyzed voting data from presidential election years beginning in 1998. View the complete report on the CPPPS webpage,

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