SAN ANTONIO – President Donald Trump may have won Texas in the November general election, but Bexar County has never voted bluer in the past 30 years.
Bexar County had its widest margin between two presidential candidates ever — 139,834 votes — with now-President-elect Joe Biden and now-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prevailing, according to recently finalized data with the Bexar County Elections Department.
An analysis by KSAT of voter registration and turnout data from the county’s election department and the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) shows that San Antonio residents have increasingly backed the Democratic presidential candidate since 2008.
The numbers are based on votes for the president and vice president in the General Election for Bexar County, going back to 1992.
Editor’s note: Click on the player toward the top-right of the graphic to play a timeline of previous presidential elections and the margin of victory in Bexar County.
The margin of victory for Democrats increased by 76% from 2016, when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also easily took Bexar County.
At that time, the 2016 General Election had the widest margin of victory between Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in Bexar County.
A sharp increase in voter turnout
Data shows that out of Bexar County’s 1,188,913 registered voters, 770,569 actually made it to the polls to vote for their presidential candidate of choice, shattering tallies from previous cycles.
An additional 3,700 people in Bexar County voted for down-ballot measures or candidates that did not include the president or vice president.
This cycle, more locals voted with an absentee ballot — 92,027 — than on Election Day as the coronavirus crisis raged, according to the Bexar County Elections Department.
San Antonians clearly took advantage of early voting, a period that was extended by Gov. Greg Abbott to avoid crowding during the pandemic.
A total of 594,739 people voted during the early voting period, which lasted from Oct. 13-Oct. 30. On Election Day on Nov. 3, 83,803 people voted for president.
Democratic turnout increased in Bexar County and Texas; Republican not so much
The trend lines for both Democrat and Republican turnout percentages have run closely parallel since 1992′s election, either increasing or decreasing in a similar fashion.
For example, both Bexar County’s and Texas’ blue turnout continued upward after the 2012 election, though San Antonio’s Democratic turnout was 12 points higher than the state’s.
The Republican turnout for both the county and the state dropped off after George W. Bush’s second election in 2004, however.
In 2000 and 2004, Republican backing was at its peak here: 52% and 54% of presidential votes went for Bush in those years, respectively.
As for Texas, data shows that the Democratic turnout for the state crept up to 46.4% for this presidential year, while the Republican turnout dropped slightly to 52.17% compared to 2016, according to SOS data.
With a roughly 5.8-point margin in Texas, the president, his campaign team and his lawyers aren’t eyeing the Lone Star State in the challenge to subvert the election results by stopping or delaying results from being verified.
According to the Associated Press, Trump and his allies are shifting toward election boards that certify the vote in battleground states where Biden came out victorious.
The winning tally for Biden nationwide, however, is reaching 80 million, the AP reports.