Henry: Texas Panhandle is not that red

Henry: Texas Panhandle is not that red

Image: upcscavenger.com

I’ve seen rankings through the years that claim Texas’ 13th Congressional District — the home of the Texas Panhandle — is the reddest congressional district in the country.

Certainly, the case can be made that the 13th is red-hot. (President Barack Obama managed only 18.5 percent of the vote in the 13th District in 2012, his lowest percentage in any congressional district.)

However, how do you explain this? If the Texas Panhandle is indeed so bright red, how does the area legislative delegation in Austin get colored with a much lighter shade of red?

Mark P. Jones, a fellow in political science at Rice University, routinely ranks state lawmakers from most conservative to most liberal.

I’ll spare you the convoluted formula Jones uses. (Terms such as “mean ideal point,” “credible intervals” and “ideological spectrum” will be a surefire cure for insomnia for many.) Let’s just say Jones uses voting records, which are as good an indicator as any.

In the House, you have to go down all the way to No. 47 before you find the most conservative lawmaker from the Amarillo area — state Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo. State Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, comes in at No. 74 (as far as most conservative), while state Rep. Ken King, R-Canadian, was No. 91. (There were 98 House Republicans listed.)

In the Senate, state Sen. Kel Seliger, R- Amarillo, was No. 18 (as far as most conservative), among 20 Republicans.

So, among these four lawmakers from arguably the most conservative district when it comes to ……. read more here. 

by DAVE HENRY

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