by Michael Handley
Like much of the rest of Texas, 2012 Collin County election results drifted to the right. On measures of both candidate and party, Collin County voted less Democratic and more Republican in 2012 than in 2008.
Obama's performance in Collin County declined on both raw vote count and vote spread and Romney's performance improved over McCain's 2008 vote count and percentage wins.
|This table represents early results and does not include|
the number of provisional ballots accepted for counting
or final number of mail ballots returned. 3,565
provisional ballots were cast. Final numbers will be
reported in December.
Comparing ballots cast as a percentage of registered voters, 2012 turnout lags behind 2008 turnout in Collin County, as it also does in eleven other of Texas' fifteen largest counties.
According to Texas DSHS Center for Health Statistics population estimates the Collin County population base has expanded over the last four years.
While the population has grown, the percentage of voting age persons (VAP) who registered to vote for the presidential election has fallen from 2008 levels.
Does this mean these Texans were less motivated to vote in 2012 than in 2008?
It seems apparent from the county and top line turnout numbers that Texas Democrats, including those who live in Collin County were less motivated to vote in 2012 than in 2008.
Looking down ballot there were five countywide Democratic candidates on Collin County ballots for place seats on the 5th District Court of Appeals:
- Tonya Holt for 5th Court of Appeals Place 11
- Penny Phillips for 5th Court of Appeals Place 5
- Larry Praeger for 5th of Court Appeals Place 12
- Dan Wood for 5th of Court Appeals Place 2
- David Hanshen for 5th Court of Appeals Place 9
All of the 5th Court of Appeals candidates won by comfortable margins in Democratic candidate friendly Dallas County.But each lost by very wide margins across the other five deeply red Republican counties, particularly in Collin County. Their losses across the five GOP heavy counties more than offset their Dallas Co. margins of victory.
The five Democratic 5th district candidates won by an average of 58 percent to 42 percent (+98,000 votes) over their Republican opponents in Dallas County.
The other four GOP stronghold counties in the 5th district, while much smaller in population than Dallas or Collin counties, tallied up an average 28 percent to 72 percent loss (-62,300 votes) in those counties for the Democratic candidates.
For the entire six county 5th district the Democratic candidates lost by an average 48 percent to 52 percent of the vote on an average 57,900 vote deficit.
Some hopeful Democrats called Collin County the key to victory for these 5th district candidates. The idea was that the 5th district candidates, while bound to loose the county, could never-the-less limit their vote losses in Collin Co. such that their Dallas Co (vote surplus) wins would still carry them to district victory.
Those saying that Collin County was the key to victory for 5th district candidates apparently expected them to receive no less than 45 percent of the Collin County vote. A very rosy expectation, indeed!
The reality is that in 2008, Obama pulled only 37 percent of the county's vote, and no other Democratic candidate has topped 35 percent of the countywide vote since the mid 1990's. This is not to say that politically moderate and liberal people do not inhabit the county in significant number, because they do. They just call themselves independents and are resolutely alienated from party affiliation and voting.
Results for the few other Democratic candidates on county ballots for statewide and district office also followed top of ballot results, as shown in the table at right.
Most people who voted for Pres. Obama also voted for all the other Democrats listed down ballot, either by marking "Straight Party" or individually marking each candidate. An average of 8 percent of voters marked their ballot for Pres. Obama, but did not vote for other down ballot Democratic candidates.
Collin Co. Ballot Positions With A Democratic Choice
- United States Senator
- United States Representative, District 4
- United States Representative, District 32
- Railroad Commissioner
- Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6
- Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
- Member, State Board of Education, District 12
- State Senator, District 8
- Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 2
- Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 5
- Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 9
- Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 11
- Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 12
Collin Co. Ballot Positions With No Democratic Choice
- United States Representative, District 3
- Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired Term
- Justice, Supreme Court, Place 2
- Justice, Supreme Court, Place 4
- Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 7
- Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8
- State Senator, District 30
- State Representative, District 33
- State Representative, District 66
- State Representative, District 67
- State Representative, District 70
- State Representative, District 89
- Chief Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District
- Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 10
- Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 13
- District Judge, 199th Judicial District
- District Judge, 380th Judicial District
- District Judge, 401st Judicial District
- District Judge, 416th Judicial District
- Judge, County Court at Law Number 2
- County Tax Assessor-Collector
- District Clerk
- County Commissioner, Precinct 1
- County Commissioner, Precinct 3
- Justice of the Peace, Precinct No. 3, Place 1
- Constable, Precinct No. 1
- Constable, Precinct No. 2
- Constable, Precinct No. 3
- Constable, Precinct No. 4