Burnt Orange Report

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September 14, 2003

Final Results, Prop 12 Analysis

By Byron LaMasters

Prop 12
IN FAVOR 738,074 50.95%
AGAINST 710,541 49.05%
--------------- ---------------
Vote Total 1,448,615
Precincts Reporting 6,644 of 6,701 Precincts 99.15%
Statewide Turnout 12.03% 12,041,793 Registered Voters

Personally, I expected Prop 12 to pass easily (55-60% range), so I was rather shocked that it came as close to failing as it did. In the long run, it doesn't really matter... victory is victory, defeat is defeat. I'd love for Jim to add Props 3 (the religious one that passed 52-48%) and 12 to our Online Atlas of Texas Politics. The results were quite interesting. The anti-12 returns ran well ahead of the DPI (Democratic Performance Index) in the major (non-border/southern) urban/suburban areas, notably greater Dallas, greater Houston and Austin.

Of the other close Props that we did not call last night, they all passed, narrowly (I strongly opposed 3, voted against 9 and supported 21):

Prop 3 Exemption for religious groups
IN FAVOR 719,343 52.90%
AGAINST 640,571 47.10%
--------------- ---------------
Vote Total 1,359,914
Precincts Reporting 6,644 of 6,701 Precincts 99.15%
Statewide Turnout 11.29% 12,041,793 Registered Voters

Prop 9 Permanent school fund
IN FAVOR 647,244 50.37%
AGAINST 637,655 49.63%
--------------- ---------------
Vote Total 1,284,899
Precincts Reporting 6,644 of 6,701 Precincts 99.15%
Statewide Turnout 10.67% 12,041,793 Registered Voters

Prop 21 Compensation for government service
IN FAVOR 683,056 52.36%
AGAINST 621,385 47.64%
--------------- ---------------
Vote Total 1,304,441
Precincts Reporting 6,644 of 6,701 Precincts 99.15%
Statewide Turnout 10.83% 12,041,793 Registered Voters

All results available, here

For a further breakdown of the Prop 12 vote, read on...

So how did Prop 12 play around the state? As you will see, the "Against 12" vote performed well ahead of the DPI in the Dallas, Houston and Austin media markets.

(I am using the Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2 race as a barometer of DPI as their were no third party candidates, both candidates were white men and few people bother to look into the candidates, and thus generally vote their party preference)

Dallas County (2002 DPI, approximately 48.5%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 215,763 51.21%
Pat Montgomery DEM 205,495 48.78%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12 vote 5-6% above DPI)
IN FAVOR 63,792 45.51%
AGAINST 76,350 54.48%

Harris County (Houston, 2002 DPI, approximately 45%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 337,368 54.85%
Pat Montgomery DEM 277,639 45.14%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12 vote 10-11% above DPI)
IN FAVOR 103,348 44.11%
AGAINST 130,915 55.88%

Travis County (Austin, 2002 DPI, approximately 54%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 95,152 45.77%
Pat Montgomery DEM 112,709 54.22%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12, approximately 7.5% above DPI)
IN FAVOR 31,277 38.05%
AGAINST 50,913 61.94%

Even the big heavily Republican suburban Counties were well above their DPI on the NO vote.

Collin County (suburban Dallas, 2002 DPI approximately 25%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 91,795 75.22%
Pat Montgomery DEM 30,228 24.77%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12, approximately 18% above DPI):
IN FAVOR 21,289 57.00%
AGAINST 16,060 42.99%

Denton County (suburban Dallas, 2002 DPI approximately 28%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 72,230 72.38%
Pat Montgomery DEM 27,549 27.61%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12, approximately 19% above DPI):
IN FAVOR 17,342 53.38%
AGAINST 15,145 46.61%

Montgomery County (suburban Houston, 2002 DPI approximately 22%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 55,693 78.05%
Pat Montgomery DEM 15,658 21.94%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12, approximately 19% above DPI):
IN FAVOR 13,955 58.58%
AGAINST 9,866 41.41%

Williamson County (suburban Austin, 2002 DPI approximately 32%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 48,838 68.24%
Pat Montgomery DEM 22,728 31.75%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12, approximately 12% above DPI):
IN FAVOR 12,467 53.78%
AGAINST 10,712 46.21%

So, why then, in a state that is about 56% Republican did Prop 12 pass despite the "againsts" running 5-11% ahead of DPI in the major urban counties and 12-19% ahead of the DPI in major suburban counties?

Two words, south Texas.

Bexar County (San Antonio) performed almost identical to its DPI:

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2 (2002 DPI approximately 48.5%)
Paul Womack REP 133,557 51.48%
Pat Montgomery DEM 125,851 48.51%

Prop 12 Suits against doctors and providers (Against Prop 12 ran at DPI)
IN FAVOR 42,452 51.34%
AGAINST 40,226 48.65%

But every other large county in South Texas the anti-Prop 12 vote ran way below DPI.

Cameron County (McAllen, 2002 DPI approximately 63%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 15,562 37.04%
Pat Montgomery DEM 26,442 62.95%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12 approximately 28% below DPI):
IN FAVOR 8,675 64.85%
AGAINST 4,701 35.14%

El Paso County (2002 DPI approximately 65%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 34,007 35.34%
Pat Montgomery DEM 62,196 64.65%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12, approximately 25% below DPI)
IN FAVOR 17,295 59.74%
AGAINST 11,652 40.25%

Hidalgo County (Brownsville, 2002 DPI approximately 69%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 19,306 30.70%
Pat Montgomery DEM 43,563 69.29%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12 approximately 19% below DPI):
IN FAVOR 4,175 54.13% 9,416 49.83%
AGAINST 3,537 45.86% 9,479 50.16%

Nueces County (Corpus Christi, 2002 DPI approximately 51%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 31,311 48.62%
Pat Montgomery DEM 33,076 51.37%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12 approximately 14% below DPI):
IN FAVOR 10,995 62.46%
AGAINST 6,607 37.53%

Webb County (Laredo, 2002 DPI approximately 83%):
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
Paul Womack REP 6,121 16.89%
Pat Montgomery DEM 30,116 83.10%

Prop 12 (Against Prop 12 approximately 29% below DPI):
IN FAVOR 2,128 45.98%
AGAINST 2,500 54.01%

So, basically, if you read Jim's and my chat during the election return watch last night, you'll see what I meant when I said that if south Texas (which was very late coming in) performed against Prop 12 at their DPI levels, then Prop 12 would fail. Unfortunately, they did not. Charles has more today on why south Texas supported Prop 12. Basically, my take on the election is that the "No on 12" campaign was very successful with it's ad buys in the major media markets (Dallas, Houston, Austin) convincing voters from across the political spectrum to vote NO, yet the health care crisis in south Texas convinced enough Democrats and independents to join Republicans in voting for Prop 12 there.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at September 14, 2003 02:26 PM | TrackBack


In my precinct I noticed a large number of voters carrying in the Link Letter voting guide for religious conservatives. It recommended a No vote. I don't remember seeing many other voting guides in peoples' hands.

Posted by: Rob Booth (Slightly Rough) at September 14, 2003 03:38 PM

As I said in a previous comment, you hit the bulleye Byron about persuading South Texas to vote for Prop. 12. Also, there was no "NO on Prop 12" organzation here in El Paso at least, so it was convincing for a lot of people who don't have time to read into an issue, including my Mom (until I told her what will happen). I at least did pass some No flyers around my precinct, and it did go against prop 12 [53% to 46%] (I not going to claim the victory) but if the party here and if "No on 12" would have focused a little more here, it probably would be different.

Also, to go further on El Paso County, I am taking a glance and trying to compare this to the Mayoral Election. What it looks like is that our democratic base areas are not coming out unlike the more indepenant/GOP basis. Also, just by glancing, it seems like the Democratic base pct. did go against prop 12 but didn't have weight. Like mine (Pct 69) had 53% and my friends Pct (Pct 78) had 69%, yet we did have a low turnout similar to the mayoral election. It seems I have my work cut out for me if.

That's my report of El Paso County, where no one in Texas cares and probably no one even knows where it is.

Posted by: Mike at September 15, 2003 07:23 PM

I agree with Mr. Studnicki's final comment on taking care of careless doctors. Let's get more state money so that the state medical board can investigate and punish those bad docs.

However, I want to also take care of careless lawyers. Let's see how many medical malpractice lawyers really want to pursue frivolous malpractice cases if we pass caps on retention fees and the amount a medical malpractice lawyer receives from a jury's award or settlement.

Currently, malpractice lawyers receive what?...up to 1/3 of the settlement/jury award? Let's cap it at 3% or a maximum of $50,000 per case. Removing the financial incentive in malpractice case will help reduce/remove the frivolous suits.

The GAO report also shows that states with caps on lawyer's fees inconjuction with caps on pain and suffering equals the lowest growth rate in malpractice insurance. There are bad docs, but there are many more bad lawyers. LAWYERS NEED TO BE REGULATED MORE THAN DOCTORS . . .AFTERALL, ISN'T THE RATIO OF LAWYERS TO DOCS AROUND 10 TO 1?

Kurt Reyes
Med Student

Posted by: Kurt Reyes at January 21, 2004 01:58 AM
Everyone please take a look at Mr. Studnicki's website. He and his associates are testimony of how financial drives lawyers to seek and pursue frivlous lawsuits. They claim they have recovered "millions". These millions result in higher malpractice premiums and also result in some specialties not providing services. For example, if you receive a brain bleed south of San Antonio, TX, the neurosurgeon here will not do any intracranial surgery because of malpracice.

We can let lawyers decide healthcare or we can let doctors decide healthcare. Prop 12 was the first step. We need to cap lawyers' fees.

Kurt Reyes
Med Student
San Antonio

IN RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING FROM https://burntorangereport.com/archives/000197.html:
....All that said and done, let's do something about careless doctors. Maybe that will solve the problem of innocent victimes being injured and killed.

Adam Studnicki

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Studnicki, Jaffe & Woods, PLLC


Posted by: Kurt Reyes at January 21, 2004 02:16 AM
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