Here’s how Texas voted in every presidential election since 1976


Texas last backed the Democratic candidate for president 40 years ago, when Jimmy Carter defeated Republican Gerald Ford by 3.2 percentage points. In the nine elections since then, the state has been a reliable Republican stronghold. 

Heading into Election Day, the race for Texas’ 38 electoral votes between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is unusually tight. While the latest polls suggest the state will remain red, Democrats are hopeful that Trump will draw a smaller margin of victory than Republicans have seen from Texas in decades.

Since Carter’s win, Democrat Bill Clinton came the closest to turning Texas blue in 1992. Clinton lost the state to then-President George H.W. Bush by 3.5 percentage points, in an election in which independent Ross Perot, a Texan, drew 22 percent of the state’s vote.

Jimmy Carter was the last presidential candidate to turn Texas blue

In the past four presidential elections, the Republican candidate has won with margins of over 10 percentage points, but polls suggest this year’s contest may be tighter.

Year Winning candidate Runner-up Margin of victory
1976 Jimmy Carter Gerald Ford 3.2 pts.
1980 Ronald Reagan Jimmy Carter 13.9 pts.
1984 Ronald Reagan Walter Mondale 27.5 pts.
1988 George H.W. Bush Michael Dukakis 12.6 pts.
1992 George H.W. Bush Bill Clinton 3.5 pts.
1996 Bob Dole Bill Clinton 4.9 pts.
2000 George W. Bush Al Gore 21.3 pts.
2004 George W. Bush John F. Kerry 22.9 pts.
2008 John McCain Barack Obama 11.8 pts.
2012 Mitt Romney Barack Obama 15.8 pts.

Did you have any trouble voting? Text us your experience by joining the ElectionLand project. We’ll check in to find out how long it took you to vote and whether you had or saw any problems. Sign up now by texting TEXAS VOTES to 69866.

Latest Tweets: #TexasVotes2016


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Video Forecast

More Forecast

Don't Miss