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State profile: Texas

Texas map
The Lone Star State was built on cattle, cotton and oil and cherishes its independence.

Its independent spirit is symbolised by the State Capitol building - its dome is exactly one foot higher than that on the United States Capitol - and summed up in the well-worn phrase "Don't mess with Texas."

George Bush was governor here before he became president and won here by wide margins in both presidential elections, although the state would have been safe for him even if it had not been his home state.

KEY FACTS
Population: 23,507,783 (ranked 2 among states)
Rick Perry (R)
Electoral College votes: 34

All major state-wide elections in Texas are won by Republicans these days, and the 2008 presidential election is likely to be no different. This is a major change since the 1960s, when post-Civil War resentments still held sway and most of the South was a Democrat-only zone.

In the 1990s, Texas overtook New York as the second most populous state in America and its growth rate is still well above the national average. Texan companies are world leaders in oil and natural gas extraction and the state's gulf coast has more than half the total chemical and petroleum production in the US.

Job growth in Texas is running at 2%, compared to 1.2% nationally, and the state is home to leading hi-tech firms such as Texas Instruments and Dell.

IN CONGRESS
House of Representatives:
13 Democrat, 19 Republican
Senate: 2 Republican

The state has also nurtured and profited from its partnership with Mexico, in stark contrast to California's rather dysfunctional relationship with its southern neighbour. Today, over 40% of US exports to Mexico are from Texas and the two cultures are increasingly intertwined

The racial discrimination and segregation which blighted Texas for so long now seem to be a thing of the past, although there is still a large gap between rich and poor.

Behind the gleaming oil refineries and computer centres of central Dallas and Houston lurk areas like the 15th District in southern Texas that rank among the poorest in the nation. Many of the most poverty-stricken counties in the country are located in Texas.

VOTING RECORD
2004: Bush 61%, Kerry 38%
2000: Bush 59%, Gore 38%
1996: Dole 49%, Clinton 44%

President Bush used to say "what Texans dream, Texans can do", and the Texan approach to social problems is very different from that of other big states. It has very low taxes, a small public sector, minimal welfare provision and one of the highest execution rates of any state in the nation.


Are you in Texas? Will you be voting in 2008? How do you plan to vote? Send us your comments and predictions using the form below.

Your comments:

I do plan to vote in 2008. I will be voting for the Democrat whoever he or she maybe. The way things are looking now, there is a good chance that the presidential election will be between Hillary Clinton and Giuliani. Who will win? I hope it will be the Democrat.
Carly Meerbrey, Houston, Texas USA

While I believe it's important to have a female president, I cannot agree with the plans Senator Clinton has put forth for our nation. That said, at this time I do not have a firm decision on another candidate.
Jerald Carter, Dickinson, TX, USA

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Electoral College votes

Winning post 270
Obama - Democrat
365
McCain - Republican
173
Select from the list below to view state level results.


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