|A Note on Voting
Voting in the Texas Democratic Party State Convention is fairly complicated. Every county, under state law, is entitled to have their full strength voted, regardless of the number of delegates present. Votes are returned to the chair by Senate District presumably because this is a more efficient means of organizing the vote into discrete chunks (31 instead of 254). In each Senate District, delegates caucus by county, and vote within their county group. Each county within each Senate District is alloted a certain share of that District's votes, and they divide those votes up by the vote in their on-the-floor county caucus. Any counties not present on the floor have their votes divvied up to match the breakdown of votes reflected by the counties that are present. Votes are then cumulatively reported by each District, taken down to the second decimal place.
So it's easy to vote in, say, Senate District 23, where all 325 votes are representing voters from Dallas County, but there's a lot of math to do if you're district 28, with 210 votes spread out across something like 30 counties.
In the first round of voting, Boyd Richie won 16 of the 31 Senate Districts of Texas, gathering just shy of 3,025 votes -- only 186 votes away from an outright win -- which was roughly 47.1% of the total vote. In the Senate Districts won by Richie, he averaged 64% of the vote. Richie won in the Northeast and East of the state, down in the South, and in District 31, which runs along the western and northern parts of the Texas Panhandle. Taken cumulatively, he won both the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston regions. He won outright majorities in 14 Senate Districts. Percentage-wise, Richie's strongest District was SD1. He took his largest pool of votes from my home Senate District, SD23. His most narrow win was in Senate District 9, where he took 49% of the vote against Maxey's 43 percent.
Glen Maxey captured El Paso, much of the coast, portions of the DFW and Houston metro areas and the bulk of central Texas. He gathered 38.1% of the vote -- 2,442.18 votes (768 shy of victory) -- and won 13 Senate Districts with an average of 54% of the vote. He won an outright majority in nine Senate Districts, and barely edged out Richie in the close race in Senate District 29, where Maxey took 38%, Richie 33% and Charlie Urbina-Jones 24% of the vote. In terms of both number of votes and percentage of votes, Maxey's strongest district was, not surprisingly, the Travis County-based District 14.
Charlie Urbina-Jones's vote varied wildly, from zero percent in Senate District 1 to 81% in Senate District 19. He won two districtst, 19 and 26, both with majorities (67% average between the two districts). All told, Urbina-Jones won 847.33 votes, or 13.2% of the overall vote.
Lakeisha (??) Rogers did about twice as well as I expected her to do, winning 98 votes, which was 1.5% of the vote. Her strongest district was District 13, where she took just over 6% of the vote. This is a Houston-area district, which reaffirms my concerns about the quality of Houston's water supply.
A statewide map of the first round results:
Boyd Richie Districts are in blue, Glen Maxey Districts are in Purple and Charlie Urbina-Jones Districts are in green. For once a political map of Texas with no red on it!
On this map, the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston metro areas are condensed into solid blocks, and colored based on their cumulative vote due to the comparatively small size of the districts. Here is a map of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Districts:
And the Houston-area Districts:
At the end of voting, Richie led Maxey by 581.71 votes, but was 185.77 votes short of a majority.
Shortly after the first vote concluded, the chair of the convention, Bob Slagle, called for a second vote between just Richie and Maxey. As those votes were taking place, Charlie Urbina-Jones and Keisha Rogers released their delegates, both imploring their supporters to "do what they think is right." Though much of the crowd was chanting "Maxey-Jones," Urbina-Jones did not endorse Maxey in his concession.
The second ballot hinged on how the released delegates would vote. In order to win, Boyd Richie needed to capture just under 200 of the released delegates (about 20% of the combined Jones-Rogers vote), while Glen Maxey faced the harder challenge of taking virtually all of these delegates. In the end, Maxey won over 150 more of these up-for-grab votes than Richie did, but not enough to prevent his rival from achieving victory.
On the second ballot, Boyd Richie won the same sixteen Senate Districts he had captured during the first ballot, with an average of 68% of the vote in these districts. As votes shifted from the two eliminated candidates, Richie generally gained a bit of ground in every District. In terms of percentage of vote, he dipped down in Senate District 1 and Senate District 23 by 1 percent, and dropped markedly in Senate District 21, where he won 35 fewer votes (-12%) than he had in the first round of voting. I'm not sure what happened in District 21, but there was audible surprise from the crowd at that vote. Richie's vote totals went up markedly in Senate District 19, where he took over half of Urbina-Jones's former supporters (but not enough to win the District) and in Senate District 27, where the entire delegation voted for Richie on Ballot Two (I believe his family is from this District, it was hard to hear in the convention). Richie's largest pool of votes again came from Senate District 23. All told, Richie's vote shot up by 391.54 votes on Ballot Two, pushing him well over the top, with 3,415.43 votes or 53.2% of the vote.
Glen Maxey markedly closed the gap in the second ballot, winning majorities in both of the Districts that had supported Urbina-Jones on the first ballot, but not capturing Jones's delegates by a large enough percentage to win the election. Maxey won 15 Senate Districts with an average of 63% of the vote. He gained large shares of the vote from former Jones voters in Districts 13, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 29. Like Richie, he generally gained a handful of percentage points in other areas, and dropped down by a a couple of points in Districts 3, 15, 22 and 27. Maxey's best District in terms of percentage won was SD 26, where he picked up 90 votes more than he had captured on the first ballot. His largest delegation vote was again from Senate District 14. Maxey took 544.27 more votes and cut Richie's lead by just over 150 votes in the second ballot, and ended up with 2,986.45 votes (46.5%).
In terms of the map, the only change was that the two Urbina-Jones Districts went for Maxey:
A few things stand out to me in breaking down the numbers. First, the districts that went for Maxey routinely went his way with less intensity than the districts that were won by Boyd Richie. This is the opposite of what I had expected. On the second ballot, there were a handful of districts won by Maxey by just the smallest of margins -- 3.92 votes in District 11, 0.26 votes in District 12. Maxey's supporters were very vocal and very dedicated, but they were also very pocketed, and that led to narrower victories than were necessary for him to win. Cumulatively, he also failed to win either the DFW or Houston metro areas, which would have been essential to any majority Maxey's campaign would have hoped to construct. It's important to note that aside from East and South Texas, Maxey won Districts throughout the state, as did Richie -- both candidates had broad bases of support, and this vote could have gone either way.
I also found it surprising that more of Charlie Urbina-Jones's voters didn't swing to Maxey in the second vote. Let's presume for the moment that all of Roger's votes went to Boyd on the second ballot (unlikely, but it makes the math easier). If that were the case, then Maxey won 66% of Jones's voters, despite their joint campaign events and the the loud cheers of "Maxey-Jones" between the two ballots.
There's a lot more that you could do to analyze the election, but that's my overall review. If you'd like to take a more in-depth look at the data, you can download my Excel spreadsheet of the vote (tabulated as the votes were called on the floor) by clicking here.