Is Harris County Liberal Or Conservative?

Rice University researcher ranks Texas counties by political ideology.


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A study shows the vast majority of the state’s 20 largest counties are right of center in terms of their residents’ self-described ideologies.

Texas County Selection Map On From U.S. Census

The only exception is Travis County, where Austin is located. People there are more liberal.

Mark Jones conducted the study for Rice University’s Baker Institute. Speaking on Houston Matters, Jones said in the Houston area, Harris County is the most liberal.

“And then at the other end, we have some of the most conservative counties in the state among the largest ones,” he said. “Brazoria County, for instance, is the most conservative of the 20 most populous counties in Texas, followed very closely by Montgomery County and Galveston County.”

Jones based his findings on eight polls conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune.

Even though Harris County is considered liberal for this region, it is actually closer to the middle of the political spectrum. More people here identify as conservative than liberal.

Jones said in the region’s biggest city, voters are more ideologically diverse.

“For instance, Houston contains the most liberal senator in the Texas Senate, Sylvia Garcia, and the most conservative, Dan Patrick,” he said. “So, while we’re a city that’s increasingly progressive for Texas, compared to Dallas we’re a little more conservative.”

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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