At left is the Texas electoral map for November 1960, when Richard M. Nixon handily won Dallas County, that trapezoid of deep red.
That year, John F. Kennedy won 50.52% of the vote in Texas and his bid for the White House. In Dallas, three years before the Kennedy assassination, Nixon won 62.16% of the vote, with 240,299 ballots cast. Tarrant County was not as red, with 54.75% of 132.986 votes going to Nixon.
Even with Texan Lyndon Baines Johnson on the ticket, JFK also lost Harris County and parts of the Panhandle and the Hill Country. LBJ’s own county of origin, Gillespie, voted more than 76% Republican.
Now all of Texas’ biggest cities, with the exception of Fort Worth are Democrat, along with parts of South Texas and the Texas Rio Grande Valley.
At right is how Texas voted in the Tuesday election. Wow, that is a lot of red.
Texas voted reliably Democrat until the “tax-and-spend liberal” demagoguery of Republicans began in the Ronald Reagan era. And then there was this little political dynasty called Bush.
The elder President Bush contributed his infamous dog-whistle Willie Horton ad. And Dallas’ own George W. Bush ran on “family values,” allowing him to ride the fence for the GOP’s staunch anti-gay faction. They can both take partial credit for Texas’ enduring red wave.
The PBS two-part “American Experience” about the younger Bush is a must-watch.
Here is a 1960 news clip of Dallaites probably voting for Nixon at Thomas J. Rusk Middle School.