Factors behind Moody's win

Political analysts point to straight ticket voting

Ashlie Rodriguez, Reporter
POSTED: 07:05 AM MST Nov 08, 2012    UPDATED: 06:19 PM MDT Mar 10, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

(Nov. 2012 story)

It seems with each election the winner for House District 78 flip flops between Joe Moody and Dee Margo. This time around Democrat Moody has taken the title.

The writing was on the wall for Republican Dee Margo, who first lost to Democrat Joe Moody in 2008, then won in 2010, then lost the November 2012 race for Texas House Representative.

“It was a presidential election,” said UTEP Political Science Professor Dr. Gregory Rocha. “And on nights like that, around here, Democrats vote pretty heavily.”

According to Rocha Democrat fervor is stronger in presidential elections than in congressional, which matches the tide of enthusiasm behind Moody's wins. 

In 2008, a presidential election in which then candidate-elect Barack Obama drew masses of Democrats to the polls, Moody received over half of the votes. 

But then in 2010 the midterm elections, referred to by some as a referendum on President Obama's healthcare initiative, Republicans made sweeping gains, including Margo, who beat Moody. 

But 2012 was once again, a presidential election and Democrats came out in droves, mostly voting straight ticket. 

“So it looks as if there's a pattern there where the greater percentage of straight ticket votes for the Democratic candidate, the greater the likelihood that win tends to come in a presidential election,” Rocha said.

Straight ticket voting occurs in Texas and 13 other states, and this year New Mexico went without it. Margo told the El Paso Times that's what cost him the election and he may be right. Well over half of the votes in the Texas House election were straight ticket, and 55% of those went to Moody. Rocha says if its a presidential election, Democrats are voting in bigger number and voting straight ticket, which means Democrat candidates will win. 

“So maybe that's where we are and where the parties are, at loggerheads or quite a bite distant from one another and so there are these huge differences. We'll just cast straight ticket votes because we're republicans and we want nothing to do with the Democrats, and vice versa,” Rocha said.

 

(Nov. 2012 story)