President-Elect Donald Trump received a higher percentage of the votes in the historically Democrat, Hispanic border counties of south Texas than previous GOP hopefuls.
In the 19 Texas counties that are members of the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Association, Mr. Trump received a higher percentage of the vote than the previous two GOP candidates. Those counties include: Brewster, Cameron, Culberson, Dimmit, El Paso, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Maverick, Pecos, Presido, Starr, Terrell, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Zapata, and Zavala.
In 2012, Senator John McCain received 55.45 percent of the vote statewide. In the border counties listed above, he won four of the counties while receiving 37.54 percent of the vote. This percentage was down from the previous election cycle where President George W. Bush won 61 percent statewide and 49 percent in the border counties.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney performed better statewide in 2012 than did McCain, but he underperformed on the border. Romney garnered 57.2 percent of the vote statewide. He lost ground in the border counties–decreasing to 37.39 percent of the vote.
Mr. Trump showed improvement in the border counties. While his statewide vote was less than McCain and Romney, his percentage of border county voters improved. He reversed the declining trend in these counties and received 38.35 percent of the vote in these predominantly Hispanic Democrat counties. This compared favorably to Romney’s 27.39 percent and McCain’s 37.54 percent.
Trump won six of these counties – Brewster, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, and Terrell. McCain and Romney also won these counties.
Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton performed better statewide than President Obama did in 2012 and worse than he did in 2008. However, in these border counties, she underperformed President Obama by more than three percentage points.
When compared to previous elections, third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein vastly overperformed their predecessors.
Author’s note: statistics used in this article were obtained from official reports from the Texas Secretary of State’s website archive of previous elections.