East Texas Makes A Hard, Democratic Push

The polls are closed, for now--until November, that is--which means all that voting equipment in Wood County had to be stored away.  "We had a wonderful turnout," said Dawn Goldthorn.  Goldthorn is the elections administrator in Wood County.  "A lot more of the Democratic Party turned out than in past elections."  Goldthorn said the number of democratic voters nearly doubled in Wood County from the previous primary.

"Texas was a key factor in this election, and so I think that really brought out a lot more voters."

That was a common trend throughout East Texas.  Blake Bailey worked as a precinct captain in Smith County.  "At our little precinct, people were still in line at 7:40pm to vote.  We were setting records by five o'clock."  Steve Richardson, chairman of the Gregg County Democrats said they also experienced record numbers.

"We might have something like 1,400 or 1,800 voters from a primary. We had over 11,000 voting in Gregg County this time around," he said.

Anderson, Gregg, and Smith counties were captured by Obama with the rest of East Texas' counties throwing their support behind Clinton.  In all, 44 percent of East Texans went with Obama--56 percent with Clinton.   Many voters also chose to cross the aisle.

"I've got a brother who's been nothing but a Republican and he voted for Obama this time around," said Richardson.  Some said that kind of Republican turnover was a strategic move, but Richardson disagreed.  "If you actually talk to people in the street, they take their vote very seriously.  They voted for Hillary or Obama because they're fed up."

And as East Texans wait for November, some said they're just happy to get a slice of the political pie.

Layron Livingston, Reporting  llivingston@kltv.com