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Encyclopedia > Politics of Texas


For approximately 100 years, from the end of Reconstruction until the 1970s, the Democratic Party was dominant in Texas Politics. However, since the 1970s the Republican Party has grown more prominent within the state, and is now the state's dominant political party. This trend mirrors a national political realignment that has seen the once solidly Democratic South become increasingly dominated by Republican candidates. Reconstruction-era military districts in the South For other uses, see Reconstruction (disambiguation). ... The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the United States, the other one being the Republican Party. ... Official language(s) None. ... The Republican Party was established in 1854 by a coalition of former Whigs, Northern Democrats, and Free-Soilers who opposed the expansion of slavery and held a Hamiltonian vision for modernizing the United States. ... Realigning election is a term from political science. ... The phrase Solid South describes the reliable electoral support of the Southern United States for Democratic Party candidates for almost a century after the Reconstruction era. ...

Contents


Early Democratic Dominance

From 1848 until Richard M. Nixon's victory in 1972, Texas voted for the Democratic candidate for president in every election except 1928, 1952, and 1956 (it did not vote in 1864 and 1868 due to the Civil War and reconstruction).[1] In the post Civil War era, the Republican Party had hardly any influence in the entire South, including Texas politics. Some of the most important American political figures of the 20th Century, such as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice-President John Nance Garner, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and Senator Ralph Yarborough were Texas Democrats. However, the Texas Democrats were rarely united, being divided into conservative and moderate factions that vied with one another for power. Summary President James Polk, having achieved virtually all of his objectives in one term and suffering from declining health that would take his life less than four months after leaving office, chose not to seek re-election. ... Order: 37th President Vice President: Spiro Agnew (1969–1973), Gerald R. Ford (1973–1974) Term of office: January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974 Preceded by: Lyndon B. Johnson Succeeded by: Gerald R. Ford Date of birth: January 9, 1913 Place of birth: Yorba Linda, California Date of death: April 22... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The American Civil War was fought in the United States from 1861 until 1865 between the northern states, popularly referred to as the U.S., the Union, the North, or the Yankees; and the seceding southern states, commonly referred to as the Confederate States of America, the CSA, the Confederacy... Reconstruction-era military districts in the South For other uses, see Reconstruction (disambiguation). ... The Republican Party was established in 1854 by a coalition of former Whigs, Northern Democrats, and Free-Soilers who opposed the expansion of slavery and held a Hamiltonian vision for modernizing the United States. ... Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969). ... John Nance Cactus Jack Garner (November 22, 1868 – November 7, 1967) was a Representative from Texas and the thirty-second Vice President of the United States (1933-41). ... ... Texas politician Ralph Yarborough Ralph Webster Yarborough (June 8, 1903 – January 27, 1996) was a Texas politician who served in the United States Senate (1957-1971) and was a leader of the progressive or liberal wing of the Democratic Party in Texas in his many races for statewide office. ... Conservatism or political conservatism is any of several historically related political philosophies or political ideologies. ... In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who holds an intermediate position between two extreme or radical viewpoints. ...


1960 to 1990 - Increasing Republican Strength

Beginning in the 1960s, Republican strength increased in Texas. Nationally, Democrats became increasingly liberal and Republicans became increasingly conservative. Starting with the Dixiecrat movement in the 1950s and 1960s conservative Southern Democrats began to leave the party and join the Republicans. This trend continued through the 1990s. For example, current Texas Governor Republican Rick Perry became a Republican in 1990. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... James Richard Rick Perry (born March 4, 1950) is a Republican politician and the current Governor of Texas. ... This article is about the year. ...


John Tower's 1961 election to the U.S. Senate made him the first statewide GOP officeholder since Reconstruction. Governor Bill Clements and Senator Phil Gramm (also a former Democrat) followed. Republican became increasingly dominant in national elections in Texas. The Republican nominee won the state's electoral votes in presidential election in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s except 1976. John Tower John Goodwin Tower (September 29, 1925 – April 5, 1991) was a conservative Republican United States Senator from Houston, Texas. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Bill Clements William Perry Bill Clements, Jr. ... William Philip Phil Gramm (born July 8, 1942 in Fort Benning, Georgia) served as a Democratic Congressman (1978-1983), a Republican Congressman (1983-1984) and a Republican Senator from Texas (1985-2002). ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ...


Redistricting Disputes and the 1990s

Despite increasing Republican strength in national elections, after the 1990 census, Texas Democrats still controlled both houses of the State Legislature and most statewide offices. As a result, they were able to direct the redistricting process. They drew what some Republicans have charged was the most effective partisan gerrymander in the country. Although Congressional Texas Democrats only received an average of 40 percent of the votes received by Congressional Texas Republicans, Democrats consistently had a majority in the state delegation. This article is about the year. ... A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ... Redrawing electoral districts in this example creates a guaranteed 3-to-1 advantage for Party 1. ...


In 1994, popular Democratic Governor Ann Richards lost her bid for re-election against Republican George W. Bush. In 1998, Bush won re-election in a landslide victory, which saw all statewide Democratic office-holders thrown out of office. 1994 (MCMXCIV in Roman) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Ann Willis Richards (born September 1, 1933), née Dorothy Ann Willis, is an American politician from Texas. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


After the 2000 census, Republicans sought to redraw the district lines to support a GOP majority in the congressional delegation, while Democrats desired to retain a plan similar to the existing lines. The two parties reached an impasse in the Texas Legislature, where Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House. As a result the new district lines were drawn by a federal court panel and largely retained the status quo. Also, as there had been no plan passed by the Legislature for the State House and Senate, the Legislative Redistricting Board, made up of four Republicans and one Democrat, was tasked with their redistricting and created a map that helped usher in a Republican majority in the House and a stronger one in the Senate. This article is about the year 2000. ... This article is about the modern United States Republican Party. ...


In 2002, Texas Republicans gained control of the Texas House of Representatives for the first time since Reconstruction; investigations into possible illegal campaign fundraising by the Republicans are ongoing and lead to the 2005 indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay. The newly elected Republican legislature engaged in a mid-decade redistricting plan. Democrats claimed that the redistricting was blatantly partisan, while Republicans argued that it was a much-needed correction of the partisan lines drawn after the 1990 census. In any case, the result was a near sweep of the Texas GOP congressional delegation during the 2004 election cycle in those "swing districts". In December 2005, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal that challenged the legality of this redistricting plan. 2002 (MMII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Thomas Dale DeLay (born April 8, 1947) is an American politician from Sugar Land, Texas and a prominent Republican. ... The Texas Ten are a group of Democrats who fled the state for New Mexico in 2003 in a quorum-busting effort aimed at preventing the passage of controversial redistricting legislation that would have benefited Texas Republicans. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States...


Situation as of 2005

As of 2005, Republicans control all statewide Texas offices, both houses of the state legislature and have a majority in the Texas congressional delegation. The state has continued its Republican voting trend in presidential elections. This makes Texas one of the most Republican states in the Union. Two of the most influential Republicans in the nation, President George W. Bush and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, are Texas Republicans. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States. ... Thomas Dale DeLay (born April 8, 1947) is an American politician from Sugar Land, Texas and a prominent Republican. ...


Despite overall Republican dominance, however, there remain some cities and regions with strong Democratic power. The capital city, Austin, is a Democratic stronghold and a center of progressive political activism. The city of El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley also remain loyal to the Democratic Party. In addition, the mayors of most major Texas cities are Democrats. During the 2004 election, despite heavy losses in congressional races, the Texas Democrats made a net gain in the state legislature for the first time since 1974 (albeit only of a single seat, along with a second picked up in a special election in 2006). Downtown Austin Nickname: Motto: Official website: www. ... Nickname: Star of the Southwest and Land of the Sun Motto: Official website: www. ... Geography The Rio Grande Valley is located in the southernmost tip of Texas. ...


Another notable exception to the macro Republican trend is the Travis County District Attorney, Ronnie Earle, a Democrat elected by the people of Austin who has served since 1978 with state-wide authority for legally prosecuting political mischief. The position of Travis County DA is uniquely so-empowered by the Texas Constitution; most states grant this authority to the more broadly elected position of Attorney General. Ronnie Earle Ronald Dale Ronnie Earle (born February 23, 1942) is the district attorney for Travis County, Texas and a member of the Democratic party[1]. He recently became widely known for filing charges against House majority leader Tom DeLay in September 2005 for conspiring to violate Texas election law... Downtown Austin Nickname: Motto: Official website: www. ... In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General is the main legal adviser to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. ...


Capital punishment

Texas has a reputation for strict "law and order" sentencing. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, of the 21 counties in the United States where more than a fifth of residents are prison inmates, 10 are in Texas. Texas leads the nation in executions, with 359 executions from 1976 to 2006. The second-highest ranking state is Virginia, with 94. Most executions are for crimes such as murder. A 2002 Houston Chronicle poll of Texans found that when asked "Do you support the death penalty?" 69.1% responded that they did, 21.9% did not support and 9.1% were not sure or gave no answer. Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 35th 110,862 km² 320 km 690 km 7. ... The Houston Chronicle is a daily newspaper in Houston, Texas. ...


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