Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Precinct analysis: Beto in Harris County

I now have a canvass of the primaries in Harris County, so you know what that means – time for some precinct analyses. I’ve got a few of these to do, so let’s dive right in. First up, a look at the Democratic Senate race.

Dist      Beto   Sema    Kimb
CD02    20,865  5,038   3,388
CD07    24,094  5,473   3,202
CD08     1,122    429     303
CD09     9,188  5,123   7,181
CD10     4,528  1,787   1,153
CD18    17,597  7,087  10,491
CD22     1,901    811     569
CD29     7,915  5,920   3,094
CD36     5,289  1,807   1,157
HD126    2,639  1,186     932
HD127    3,082  1,354   1,158
HD128    1,895    837     612
HD129    4,647  1,319     811
HD130    2,863  1,006     656
HD131    3,358  2,103   3,343
HD132    3,170  1,661     970
HD133    6,644  1,103     621
HD134   15,443  1,401     742
HD135    3,187  1,612   1,052
HD137    2,016    793     460
HD138    3,341  1,176     673
HD139    3,971  1,953   3,039
HD140    1,032    921     595
HD141    1,582  1,400   2,441
HD142    2,497  1,830   2,577
HD143    1,756  1,734     991
HD144    1,101    892     281
HD145    3,120  1,385     406
HD146    5,086  1,986   3,071
HD147    7,747  2,113   2,787
HD148    7,075  1,363     515
HD149    2,031  1,088     860
HD150    3,216  1,259     945

Rep. Beto O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke did slightly worse in Harris County (59.08%) than he did statewide (61.79%). The Narrative – I feel like it needs to be considered a proper noun at this point – has focused on his weakness in several heavily Latino counties, where Sema Hernandez drew more votes than he did. That’s not the story here, however, as O’Rourke had at least a plurality in all of the Latino-majority districts. He could have done better, sure, but he did have majorities in HDs 145 and 148, and came close in HD144. Stace talked about why Beto didn’t do so well in South Texas, but those issues were not as prevalent for him here.

Where he was weak was in the African-American areas. Beto had pluralities at the Congressional level, but came in second to the even-less-heralded Edward Kimbrough in HDs 141 and 142, and won HD131 by a whisker. I honestly don’t know if Kimbrough did any outreach on his own, but I do have a theory as to what may have been an obstacle for Beto. My guess – and Greg Wythe can correct me if I’m wrong – is that the voters in these districts are on the whole older than voters in other parts of the county, and therefore less reachable by the social-media-driven campaigning that Beto leaned on. I’m open to other suggestions, but if I’m right then I hope this gives his campaign some useful information about where and how to improve going forward, which I hope they use.

Beto was solid everywhere else, and downright dominant in your inner-Loop and higher-income places – 87.8% in HD134 is certainly nothing to sneeze at – so I think we can say that where his campaign penetrated, it resonated. I don’t know if anyone in the pundit class noticed, but there were 18,268 Democratic primary votes cast in HD134 versus only 15,068 on the Republican side, and that was with the Greg Abbott-driven conflagration over Sarah Davis. I have to think Beto helped drive the turnout there on the Dem side, with the Governor’s race also pushing things. If he can refine his approach in the places where he needs improvement, only good things can result. I’ll look at the Governor and Lt. Governor races next. Let me know what you think.

Related Posts:


  1. ken roberts says:

    With the caveat that this was one affluent precinct (175) and a small sample size, I worked the polls in SH134 for Lizzie Pannill Fletcher for almost 9 hours on Election Day. What I noticed from talking to voters:

    1) A lot of Democratic voters seemed motivated by the Congressional race. Granted, I was wearing a Fletcher t-shirt and the only other Dem card pushers were for Alex T and, briefly, Moser, which undoubtedly influenced conversation. Many of the ones talking to us about CD7 gave the impression they’ve voted in primaries before.

    2) There were three voters that claimed they intended on voting for the Democrat in CD7, but needed to vote “for Sarah Davis”(two) or “against Dokupil” (one) in SH134. The “against Dokupil” was going to vote for Sawyer in November. One of the “for Davis” voters wasn’t sure between Davis and Sawyer, yet, and didn’t know much about Sawyer. I barely talked to the third person.

    3) There appeared to be enthusiasm for Beto. A couple of those people came across as potentially new primary voters. I may be reading too much into that.

    4) Allison Lami Sawyer did not seem to have much enthusiasm beyond her being on all the endorsements.

    5) The governor’s race did not come up at all except for two people asking for my suggestion. After interviewing for their priorities, I suggested White for one and Valdez for the other. That race did not seem to be motivating Dem voters.

    6) On the Republican side, SH134 was the only race people talked about. Granted, that was the only race that mattered in that precinct.

    All of that doesn’t mean too much, but may be interesting as long as you are hyper-analyzing things.

    p.s. Speaking of hyper-analyzing things, my favorite detail that I noticed in the canvas report was that Lauren Reeder won Precinct 291 in Westbury by a vote of 113 to 0.

    This was for Civil Court and neither she nor her opponent were incumbents. That is remarkable to me.

    There were 30 undervotes.

  2. N.M. Horwitz says:

    Thanks for the catch on HD134. Davis could lose. And if there is, in fact, a Blue Tsunami, she will.

    The pundits and Respected Voices don’t want to offend Davis personally by even humoring what is frankly a real possibility. I don’t know why they’re in denial.

  3. Gary D says:

    It was obvious the only chance the GOP had of keeping 134 was Sarah Davis and Abbott and the religious fundamentalists hammered her badly pretty much setting her up for a probable November loss.

  4. […] Precinct analysis: Beto in Harris County […]