Politics of Texas
|2012||57.19% 4,555,799||41.35% 3,294,440|
|2008||55.48% 4,467,748||43.72% 3,521,164|
|2004||61.09% 4,526,917||38.30% 2,832,704|
|2000||59.30% 3,799,639||38.11% 2,433,746|
|1996||48.80% 2,736,166||43.81% 2,459,683|
|1992||40.61% 2,496,071||37.11% 2,281,815|
|1988||56.01% 3,036,829||43.41% 2,352,748|
|1984||63.58% 3,433,428||36.18% 1,949,276|
|1980||55.30% 2,510,705||41.51% 1,881,148|
|1976||47.97% 1,953,300||51.14% 2,082,319|
|1972||66.20% 2,298,896||33.24% 1,154,291|
|1968||39.87% 1,227,844||41.14% 1,266,804|
|1964||36.49% 958,566||63.32% 1,666,185|
|1960||48.52% 1,121,130||50.52% 1,167,567|
Republicans control all statewide Texas offices, both houses of the state legislature and have a majority in the Texas congressional delegation. This makes Texas one of the most Republican states in the U.S.
Despite overall Republican dominance, however, there are some cities and regions with strong Democratic power. Austin, the state capital, is a Democratic stronghold and a center of progressive political activism. El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley also remain loyal to the Democratic Party, due to the large Hispanic population in those areas. In addition, the mayors of most major Texas cities, though running in "nonpartisan" races, are affiliated with the Democratic Party. The cities of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and El Paso all presently have elected mayors with Democratic ties, and have voted Democratic in recent statewide and federal elections. However, the suburbs of these cities remain heavily Republican.
While historically the Republicans first broke Democratic Solid South dominance in Texas by making inroads in urban areas like Dallas and Houston, today the key to Republican strength in the state is winning sweeping majorities across rural and suburban Texas, overcoming the Democratic urban vote.
During the 2006 election cycle, the Democrats scored major successes by winning six state House seats (five in the general election and one in an earlier special election), cutting the Republican majority in the House by half. They also gained two federal Congressional seats. The Democrats failed to win any statewide offices, however. 2008 saw further Democratic gains. Although the Republicans regained a congressional seat they had lost to the Democrats in 2006, the Democrats gained six state house seats (reducing the Republican majority there to a single seat) and one state senate seat.
The 2010 elections saw a reversal of this trend, with the Republicans taking a 101 to 49 supermajority in the State House. Republicans also captured 3 house seats, one central-Texas seat and two Hispanic-Majority seats in south Texas (one being the 23rd district lost in 2006).
Texas, like California, is now a minority-majority state. This means that non-Hispanic whites no longer make up a majority of the population. This is predominantly due to the booming Hispanic population, which accounted for 38.1% of the state's population as of 2011[update] (compared to 44.8% for non-Hispanic whites).
The state's changing demographics may well result in a change in its overall political alignment. As most Hispanic and Latino voters support the Democratic Party, Texas may eventually become a tossup state in presidential elections and turn blue for the first time since 1976. Mark Yzaguirre questioned this assumption through highlighting Governor Rick Perry's courting of 39% of Hispanics in his victory in the 2010 Texas Gubernatorial. However many contend that it is low turnout among Texas Hispanics that are keeping the state Red.
Texas has a reputation for strict "law and order" sentencing. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, of the 21 counties in the United States where more than a fifth of residents are prison inmates, 10 are in Texas. Texas leads the nation in executions, with 464 executions from 1974 to 2011. The second-highest ranking state is Virginia, with 108. A 2002 Houston Chronicle poll of Texans found that when asked "Do you support the death penalty?" 69.1% responded that they did, 21.9% did not support and 9.1% were not sure or gave no answer.
Texas has a long history with secession. It was originally a Spanish province, which in 1821 seceded from Spain and helped form the First Mexican Empire. In 1824 Texas became a state in the new Mexican republic. In 1835 Antonio López de Santa Anna assumed dictatorial control over the state and several states openly rebelled against the changes: Coahuila y Tejas (the northern part of which would become the Republic of Texas), San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas. Several of these states formed their own governments: the Republic of the Rio Grande, the Republic of Yucatan, and the Republic of Texas. Only the Texans defeated Santa Anna and retained their independence.
Many Texans believe that because it joined the United States as a country, Texas retains the right to secede. However, neither the ordinance of The Texas Annexation of 1845 nor The Annexation of Texas Joint Resolution of Congress March 1, 1845 included provisions giving Texas the right to secede. Texas did originally retain the right to divide into as many as five independent States, and as part of the Compromise of 1850 continues to retain that right while ceding former claims westward and northward along the full length of the Rio Grande in exchange for $10 million from the federal government. Some scholars claim it was implied that Texas had the right to secede. It had broken away from Mexico, and could also separate itself from the United States if necessary.
The United States Supreme Court's primary ruling on the legality of secession involved a case brought by Texas involving a Civil War era bonds transfer. In deciding the 1869 Texas v. White case, the Supreme Court first addressed the issue of whether Texas had in fact seceded when it joined the Confederacy. In a 5-3 vote the Court "held that as a matter of constitutional law, no state could leave the Union, explicitly repudiating the position of the Confederate States that the United States was a voluntary compact between sovereign states." In writing the majority opinion Chief Justice Salmon Chase opined that:
When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.
However, as the issue of secession per se was not the one before the court, it has been debated as to whether this reasoning is merely dicta or a binding ruling on the question. It is also worth noting that Salmon Chase was nominated by Abraham Lincoln and was a staunch anti-secessionist. It is unlikely that he or his Republican appointed court would have approved of the Confederacy and Texas' choice to join it.
While the state's organized secessionist movement is relatively small, a notable minority of Texans hold secessionist sentiments. A 2009 poll found that 31% of Texans believe that Texas has the legal right to secede and form an independent country and 18% believe it should do so.
Until 2010, Texas had weathered the Great Recession fairly well, buffered by its vast oil and gas industries. It avoided the housing industry meltdown and its unemployment rate continues to be below the national level. It benefited from having a two-year budget cycle, allowing officials create budget plans with more time to focus on issues of importance. However, Texas was impacted by the economic downturn just like many other states, and by 2011 was suffering from tens of billions of dollars in budget deficits. In order to deal with this deficit, a supermajority of Republicans led to a massive cost cutting spree.  In order to draw new businesses to the state, Texas has developed a program of tax incentives to corporations willing to move there. These efforts, along with Texas focusing on developing their natural energy resources, has led to a surplus as Texas begins its next two year budget cycle. 
- Major revenue sources
For FY 2011, the top Texas revenue sources by category were approximately: Federal Income: $42,159,665,863.56 Sales Tax: $21,523,984,733.17 Investments: $10,406,151,499.48 Other Revenue: $8,569,805,443.66 Licenses, Fees, Fines and Penalties: $7,741,880,095.57
As of 2008, Texas residents paid a total of $88,794 million dollars in income taxes.  This does not include Federal taxes paid by Texas businesses.
Besides sales tax, other taxes include franchise, insurance, natural gas, alcohol, cigarettee and tobacco taxes. Texas has no personal state income tax.
- Major spending categories
For FY 2011, the top Texas State Agency spending categories were approximately: Public Assistance Payments: $26,501,123,478.54 Intergovernmental Payments: $21,014,819,852.52 Interfund Transfers/Other: $12,319,487,032.40 Salaries and Wages: $8,595,912,992.82 Employee Benefits: $5,743,905,057.61
Current state political parties
- Republican Party of Texas (State Affiliate of Republican Party)
- Texas Democratic Party (State Affiliate of Democratic Party)
- Libertarian Party of Texas (State Affiliate of Libertarian Party)
- Constitution Party of Texas (State Affiliate of Constitution Party)
- Texas Independence Party (State Affiliate of Independence Party of America)
- Green Party of Texas (State Affiliate of Green Party of the United States)
- Reform Party of Texas (State Affiliate of Reform Party of the United States of America)
- Socialist Party of Texas (State Affiliate of Socialist Party USA)
- Texas Communist Party (State Affiliate of Communist Party of the United States of America)
- Southern Independence Party (State Specific)
- Maxwell (2009), p. 22.
- Texas Politics: Historical Barriers to Voting, accessed 11 Apr 2008 Archived April 2, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Texas Politics: Historical Barriers to Voting, accessed 11 Apr 2008 Archived April 2, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- W. Marvin Dulaney, "African Americans", Handbook of Texas Online, accessed 22 February 2014
- "Data from the 2010 Federal Census of Texas". Quick Facts. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "Report focusing on the political persuasion of Hispanic and Latino voters.". CNN. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "Article from the Huffington Post". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "Texas Execution Information".
- Hoppe, Christy (April 18, 2009). "Despite state mythology, Texas lacks right to secede". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Ordinance of the Convention of Texas, signed July 4, 1845.
- "The Annexation of Texas Joint Resolution of Congress March 1, 1845". Archives of the West: 1806-1848. PBS. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- "The 1850 Boundary Act". Texas Treasures: Early Statehood. Texas State Library & Archives Commission. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- Schwartz (1995), p. 134.
- Zuczek (2006), p. 649.
- Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1868) at Cornell University Law School Supreme Court collection.
- Currie (1985), p. 315.
- "Perry's secession remarks light up blogosphere". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- "In Texas, 31% Say State Has Right to Secede From U.S., But 75% Opt To Stay". Rasmussen Reports. Retrieved 2009-04-17.[dead link]
- "Even budget deficits are bigger in Texas."
- "Lines Blur as Texas Gives Industries a Bonanza."
- State Revenue by Category, Texas Transparency, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
- State Spending by Category, Texas Transparency, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
- Cunningham, Sean P. Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right. (2010).
- Currie, David (1985). The Constitution in the Supreme Court: The First Hundred Years, 1789-1888. University of Chicago Press.
- Maxwell, William Earl; Crain, Ernest; Santos, Adolfo. Texas Politics Today 2009-2010 (14th ed.). Wadsworth. ISBN 978-0-495-57025-7.
- Schwartz, Bernard (1995). A History of the Supreme Court. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509387-9.
- Zuczek, Richard (August 2006). Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era A–L. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33074-3.