ACC study examines gubernatorial race trends

An analysis from Austin Community College’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies (CPPPS) indicates that straight-ticket voting in the state’s 2014 gubernatorial election reached an all-time high.

In the 46 counties that represent the majority of ballots cast, 61 percent of voters selected a straight-ticket, a marked increase over previous gubernatorial contests:

  • 2010: 57.7 percent
  • 2006: 45 percent
  • 2002: 49.6 percent
  • 1998: 47.6 percent

“Voters are clearly expressing their intention to vote only for candidates of one political party,” says Peck Young, CPPPS director. “These straight-ticket votes increasingly favor Republican gubernatorial candidates.”

In the counties included in the study, the Republican Party received about 58 percent of straight-ticket votes. Democrats received 41 percent. The Libertarian and Green Parties each received less than 1 percent of straight-ticket votes.

“Democratic candidates have been faced with an almost insurmountable task in recent gubernatorial elections,” says Stefan Haag, retired ACC Professor. “Among the 46 counties, Democrat Wendy Davis would have had to win nearly 56 percent of the swing vote to defeat Republican Gregg Abbott.”

The study analyzes voting data from gubernatorial elections beginning in 1998. Haag prepared the report with assistance from Young, CPPPS Associate Director Maxine Kaplan, and Incarnate Word University Associate Professor Gary Keith.

View “Studies of Political Statistics: Straight-Ticket Voting in Texas 1998-2014” on the CPPPS webpage,

Studies of Political Statistics: STRAIGHT TICKET VOTING IN TEXAS 1998-2014

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