I have two things to say about this.
Two years after Republicans trounced Democrats in Hays County, the GOP again is aiming to win.
Ten incumbents are running for re-election in Hays County races, but the six Republican candidates are all unopposed.
All four Democratic incumbents, however, have drawn Republican challengers, including Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, the longest-serving member of the current Commissioners Court. Democrats are also being challenged in a justice of the peace race and two constable races.
The county went red in the 2010 elections as Republicans swung the Commissioners Court from four Democrats and one Republican to four Republicans and one Democrat. Republicans also replaced the Democratic sheriff and district clerk.
Hays County had long been known as a purple county — in which both Democrats and Republicans were elected — but even Democrats at the bottom of the ballot were swept out of office during the midterm elections as Republicans expressed disappointment with President Barack Obama’s policies.
Do I really have to explain the difference between Presidential election years and non-Presidential election years? Basing expectations for 2012 on what happened in 2010 is foolish. I’m no expert on Hays County, and I have no idea what the past history of the County Commissioner/Constable/JP precincts looks like – the Hays County Election Results page is completely useless. For all I know, the Republicans will win all of these races. But if they do, it’s not because the 2010 election results said they would.
The proper comparison is to another Presidential year. Here are the last two Presidential results for Hays County:
2004 Votes Pct ===================== Bush 27,021 56.50 Kerry 20,110 42.05 2008 Votes Pct ===================== McCain 29,638 50.18 Obama 28,431 48.14
Now this doesn’t tell us what’s going to happen, either. None of the races cited in the story are countywide, and again I’ve no idea what the electoral data looks like in the political subdivisions. Hays County has experienced a lot of growth in recent years, and who can say how these new residents will vote. As I’ve said before, I just don’t have a good feel for where things are in the state, and the recent polls we’ve seen lately have raised more questions than they’ve answered. The one thing I do know is that I’ll be taking a long look at county data after the election is over.