Survey: Largest Texas County Turning Blue

HOUSTON, Texas — A survey from Rice University says that 52 percent of Harris County (Houston area) residents have now declared themselves as Democratic or to lean Democratic. Only thirty percent declare themselves to be Republican.

According to Harris County Clerk records, in the November 2012 presidential election, President Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney by only 971 votes in the county. He received 49.39 percent to 49.31 percent of the 1,188,585 votes cast.

The survey reports that the Democratic trend is up from two years ago when those with Democrat leanings were at forty-two percent, and Republicans were at thirty-five percent. In 2005, Republicans were ahead with thirty-seven percent and Democrats had thirty-five percent.

The 2016 survey included 808 respondents from Harris County, and 401 each from neighboring Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

The interviews were conducted by Social Science Research Solutions by telephone between January 25 and March 3rd. The calls were made to both landlines and cellphones. The Republican and Democratic primaries in Harris County were held on March 1 this year.

The Kinder Houston Area Survey is in its 35th year and according to the website at Rice University, the survey is “the nation’s longest-running study of the experiences, attitudes, and beliefs of the residents in any metropolitan region.”

The survey was started in 1982 by Rice Professor Stephen L. Klineberg. The survey is now financially supported by foundations, corporations, and individuals in Houston and outside the city area.

Pachyderms may be consoled by the fact that the 2016 Rice/Kinder Area Survey surveyed all residents. It did not include only likely voters.

Moreover, 60 percent of Houstonians surveyed said it was very important to pass a local equal rights ordinance. Nineteen percent said it was “somewhat important,” and twenty-percent said it is “not very” or “not at all” important. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was defeated by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent in Houston in November, as reported by Breitbart Texas.

Sixty-six percent of respondents also said that the government should take more steps to reduce income differences between the rich and poor in the nation. This is up forty-five percent from 2010. Seventy-six percent said that government should also make sure that those who want to be gainfully employed should have a job. This was reported to be up ten percent from 2009. Forty-three percent believed that people who are on welfare, are really in need of government assistance. This figure was at thirty-one percent in 2010.

Fifty-one percent of the residents surveyed were in favor of allowing 10,000 refugees to resettle into the U.S. if they passed “background checks.” Sixty-four percent say that those who are in danger because of their beliefs or ethnicity should be able to resettle as refugees in the city.

Texas state Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) told Breitbart Texas, “The real story is from the primaries. For the first time ever in history, there were 100,000 more Republican primary voters than Democrats – 329,ooo to 227,000. This has never happened before.” The Houston senator and former Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar of Harris County added, “There were also a record number of primary voters under 40-years-old.” Bettencourt said that 43,000 in that age bracket voted, 2 1/2 times more than the 17,000 that had previously voted in the GOP primary in Harris County.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2



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