For years, Texas has been considered the "reddest" state in the union, in large part thanks to a long-standing tradition of voting for Republican candidates in presidential elections. In fact, the state of Texas hasn't gone to a Democratic candidate since the 1976 presidential election when Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter carried the state over Republican incumbent Gerald Ford by a 3.2% margin.
For the next 36 years and nine presidential elections, the Lone Star State's 38 Electoral College votes would go exclusively to GOP candidates.
However, Texas' reputation as the reddest state might be in jeopardy. In the 2008 presidential election, 55% of Texans voted for John McCain, compared to only 43% for challenger Barack Obama, a margin of 11%.
A wide margin, to be sure, but 14 states voted for McCain by a wider margin. Wyoming was, by margin of victory, the reddest state, with a 32% margin for McCain, followed by Oklahoma (31%) and Utah (28%).
In 2012, Texas again voted for the Republican candidate, with 57% of the state voting for Mitt Romney and 41% voting for the incumbent Obama, a 16% margin. Still, this was only good enough to rank Texas as the 15th reddest state in the country again.
Utah was the leader in 2012, voting for Romney by more than 47% over Obama. Wyoming (41%) and Oklahoma (34%) rounded out the top three.
Texas still had the most total votes cast for Mitt Romney and the fourth-most cast for Barack Obama.
Nonetheless, Texas remains a hugely important state to the Republican Party with its 38 electoral votes, second only to California in the Electoral College. Texas has gained at least one electoral vote in every census since 1930, including four from the 2010 census.
As Texas' Hispanic population steadily increases, the Democratic Party has announced plans to engage the growing Hispanic demographic in an effort to turn Texas into a swing state.
Regardless of what happens in the future, Texans will always be intensely proud of their state. Even as a transplant from Tennessee (you know, Davy Crockett's home state), I'm proud to live in Texas. After all, what other state has an entire song about God blessing it? The petition for Texas to secede from the United States garnered over 125,000 virtual signatures, the most of any state. And - don't forget - everything's bigger in Texas, y'all.
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