How Many Electors Does Texas Have? Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump Are Fighting For This Key State

Two attendees dressed as Hillary and Bill Clinton in prison uniforms obey the pledge of allegiance before a Donald Trump rally at Travis County Exposition Center on August 23, 2016 in Austin, Texas. / AFP / SUZANNE CORDEIRO (Photo credit should read SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: AFP/AFP/Getty Images

They've always said that everything is bigger in Texas, and when another presidential election season comes around, you remember that this applies to numbers of electoral votes, too. It may look like the state has an outsized representation in the electoral college, but how many electors Texas has is based purely on population, as with any other state. Texas, the second most populous state in the union, has 38 electors, up from 34 before the 2010 census. 

The only state with more electoral votes than Texas is California, which dwarfs even Texas with its 55 electors. But these two most populous states couldn't have more different voting histories. While California hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, Texas hasn't voted for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Nowadays, Texas is the biggest state by far that can reliably be considered to be a Republican stronghold. After Texas, the next biggest state that generally leans Republican in national elections is Georgia, with 14 electors. 

Texas has been steadily gaining electors in each of the last several censuses thanks to an extremely high rate of immigration. From 2000 to 2013, the immigrant population grew by 45 percent, with the biggest groups coming from Mexico, India, and Vietnam. Figures like this contribute to making Texas one of only a few states where the majority of citizens are ethnic minorities. Texas' biggest city, Houston, is also the most ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the country. 

Immigration trends like these could eventually add significant numbers of Democratic voters to the Texas electorate, but it is still highly unlikely that Texas' 38 electoral votes will go to anyone but Donald Trump this year. There has not been a statewide poll in Texas that has Hillary Clinton winning, and the GOP takes it as a certainty that the state will go to their nominee even though some of those polls have Trump winning within the margin of error. There may come a time when the Democrats will be able to put those electoral votes into play, but they haven't yet launched the far-reaching push that they would need to have any real chance at them. 

For now, Texas' 38 electoral votes are part of the number that Republican officials expect Trump to garner even in the worst case scenario, and none of Clinton's realistic paths to victory include her winning Texas. In the end, though, nothing will be totally clear until after the Texas polls close at 7 p.m. CT on Election Day. 

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