Embarassing Numbers

I'm just catching up on some blog reading, and I was suprised to read a comment by a friend of mine recently. Over on Scott's blog, he wrote:

One high point is that only 66.45% of my county voted for it, so we aren't quite as backwards as the rest of the state. Chris & James (and Jonas and Peter for that matter), however, should be embarrassed, if not afraid, as Collin County was 74.45% for it.

Normally I take Scott's little barbed comments with a grain of salt, but this one just felt like a huge kick to the guts, especially when you discover that Dallas actually had other propositions on the ballot to get their people to the polls – AND they tend to have less conservative influence within their county.

Let's put it into context. Dallas County has 16 representatives in the Texas House (10 Republicans; 6 Democrats). Collin County has 4 representatives (all Republicans). This may suggest that Collin County may be more conservative than Dallas County, but let's check other information. In the 2004 General Election, Dallas County gave GWB 50.35% of their votes, compared to Collin County who gave GWB 71.15% of their votes. Go back the previous year to the 2003 Constitutional Amendments, and we find that Dallas County only gave 45% of their votes to support the protection of law suits against doctors and lawyers, where Collin County gave 57% of their votes. Based on this, one may go and make the assertion that Dallas County is less conservative than Collin County, and it is one that I will make.

Having said that, it is extremely unfair to suggest that volunteers should be embarrased that Collin County was higher than Dallas County. Let's also not forget that most of Dallas County had other issues on their ballots, like the strong mayor proposition, which would have boosted voter turnout (about 2.19 percentage points in Dallas favor), not to mention that the conservative movement in the county was hoping for a 80% plus vote in favor of the proposition.

Sadly, it appears that Scott got it wrong, and while numbers may appear to suggest one thing, the reality is that he is fortunate to live in a liberal-infested county, and those Democrat-types got out to vote they way they were expected to, and that helped with the (still equally) discriminatory results that Dallas County contributed to the overall result. In fact, looking purely at the raw numbers, Dallas County contributed 99,747 more votes than Collin County towards the approval of Proposition 2. And for that, I thank them all 🙂