Texas Presidential Analysis: Obama Wins 28 TX Counties


Here's the list, courtesy of — me.

I've found out and listed the 28 Texas counties where Obama beat McCain. I ranked based on the counties where he received the highest vote totals (and still won). I also have created (good suggestion KT!) a “vote margin” column, so you can see by how much Obama won in each of these 28 counties.

We're going to need to start thinking of how to target a statewide map if we want to win big in 2010. Looking at previous results is one step in the process — but one we hope to continue developing going forward.

Three quick facts, and then the numbers:

  • Obama's vote totals in these 28 counties represent 55.5% of his ~ 3.5 million vote total.

  • Obama lost by 910,409 votes statewide — which means based on his vote margin victory in these 28 counties, he lost the other 228 counties by a total of 1,374,010 votes. Wow.
  • His vote margins in Travis and Dallas County were nearly twice as great as any other county.

Now, on to the numbers. I hope this is useful and/or interesting. Enjoy!

 County  Obama  McCain  Vote Margin
Harris 588,611 (50.5%)
570,143 (48.9%)
 Dallas 424,468 (57.5%) 309,477 (41.9%)
 Bexar 275,023 (52.4%)
245,932 (46.9%) 29,091
 Travis 253,278 (64.1%) 136,671 (34.6%)
 El Paso 121,589 (66.0%)
61,598 (33.4%)
 Hidalgo 90,122 (69.1%) 39,614 (31.4%) 50,508
 Cameron 48,401 (64.1%)
26,641 (35.3%)
 Jefferson 44,854 (50.9%) 42,877 (48.6%)
 Webb 33,435 (71,5%) 14,111 (28.0%) 19,324
 Maverick 8,554 (78.2%) 2,316 (21.2%)
Starr 8,283 (84.5%)
1,488 (15.3%)
 Val Verde 6,982 (54.5%)
5,752 (44.9%)
 Jim Wells 6,683 (57.8%)
4,825 (41.7%) 1,858
 Kleberg  5,251 (53.3%)
4,539 (46.0%)
 Willacy 3,405 (69.6%) 1,454 (29.7%) 1,951
 Duval  3,298 (74.8%) 1,076 (24.4%) 2,222
 Zavala  3,263 (84.2%)
596 (15.4%)
 Dimmit  2,692 (75.1%) 874 (24,4%)
 Frio  2,405 (59.2%) 1,644 (40.5%)
Zapata  1,939 (67.7%)
918 (32%) 1,021
 Brewster  1,819 (49.9%) 1,781 (48.8%) 38
 Brooks  1,747 (75.7%) 556 (24.1%)
 Reeves  1,605 (52.3%) 1,444 (47.0%) 161
 Jim Hogg  1,336 (73.6%)
472 (26.0%)
 Presidio 1,250 (71.3%)
489 (27.9%) 761
 La Salle 1,051 (59.2%) 713 (40.2%)
Culberson 510 (65%) 267 (34.0%)
 Kenedy 108 (53.5%) 93 (46.0%) 15
 TOTAL  1,941,962  1,478,361 463,601

About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Thanks for the analysis, Phillip
    Another set of statistics we need to get is the turnouts by county.  Our hopes of electing statewide candidates depend on boosting turnout numbers in some of these key counties.  


    • Good point
      In the ten counties with the highest turnout rate, Obama got 20.3% and in the ten counties with the lowest turnout rate, Obama got 58.3%.

      In the counties that Obama won, turnout averaged 46.8%.  In counties that McCain won, turnout averaged 59.8%.

      This is an average of the county rates, not an average of all votes in the combined counties. King County had 81% turnout and only went 5% for Obama, but it only has 202 registered voters. Those 8 Democrats should work on their neighbors, but if they triple their numbers it won't make much of a dent.

    • Great catch
      And Obama won it big too – 78%.  I think I'm in love with Maverick County Texas.

      The county seat of Maverick is Eagle Pass.  Way to go Maverick and Eagle Pass!

      When can we expect the indie movie to be made?

      • Maverick indeed
        As Stephen Colbert said last week, being a “maverick” is 10% inspiration and 90% voting with George Bush.

        I don't think we'll see any Republicans calling themselves “maverick” again for decades to come, just as there aren't any Democrats anymore who claim to have “Joementum.”

  2. Oh and if we rank it by vote margin – give Travis a shout out
    Travis 116,607.  We eked out that victory over Dallas a far bigger county than us.  

    Congratulations to the entire Travis coordinated team.  It was that 100,000+ votes that helped make a difference for Woodie Jones who got elected as Chief Justice – 3rd Court of Appeals!


    • The TCDP did a great job
      Dallas and Harris are also big improvements, and the percentages in South Texas are great. Unfortunately, the turnout in South Texas wasn't. Until we figure out how to get a big S. Texas vote in November (and not just March), we won't be able to win statewide races.  

  3. enough enthusiasm in texas
    it would have helped had the obama campaign not replied to complaints about pulling volunteers from texas to go to other states by saying “we have enough enthusiasm in texas”.  

    so good job.  they had enough enthusiasm.  didn't need people volunteering, if they had enough enthusiasm.  

    that is NOT how you motivate people.  perhaps those margins would have been a lot larger, otherwise.

    • The Obama campaign did not pull volunteers from texas
      they went of their own free will.

      I don't blame the volunteers that went out of state.

      They did what they thought was best.

  4. Huh?
    No one forced those folks to get on the bus and hop over to New Mexico or Ohio, etc…I would have liked to see more of them stay here – but heck – it's hard to argue with success.

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