The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972

Book Reviews

According to the dustjacket, the Coleman diary is "social history
as viewed by a perceptive woman." Perhaps some tangential informa-
tion on life in Texas, 1832-1897, can be gleaned. However, for the
historian there are other and better sources available.
University of Texas, Arlington SANDRA L. MYRES
Texas Precinct Votes '68: 1968 General Election Precinct Analysis and
Maps. Compiled and edited by V. Lance Tarrance, Jr. (Dallas:
Southern Methodist University Press, 1970. Pp. xiii+9go. $7.95.)
Both scholars of Texas politics and citizens interested in how urban
areas voted in the 1968 general election are indebted to V. Lance
Tarrance, Jr.'s 1968 version of Texas Precinct Votes. Following up on
his 1966 study, Tarrance has provided election results for all Texas
counties in the presidential, gubernatorial, and lieutenant governor
races. The meat of this volume, however, is the precinct results for
these races included for the forty-three most urbanized counties in
Texas.
Voting data by precinct rather than county are essential for analysis
in urban areas. Populations and electorates in rural counties are often
relatively homogeneous in composition; but such is almost never the
case in metropolitan areas. In fact, it is difficult to find neighborhoods
within cities in which the vote parallels that of the city or county as
a whole. To lump together in county totals the vote from such politi-
cally opposed neighborhoods as South Dallas and North Dallas or
Southwest Houston and Northeast Houston, for example, conceals
much more than it reveals. Only precinct data disclose the substantial
variations in voter turnout and division found within heavily popu-
lated areas. With the increasing concentration of population in such
areas (76.6 percent of Texas' i970 population lived in the forty-three
counties Tarrance examined) serious analysts of Texas electoral pat-
terns must utilize precinct data.
Tarrance presents the precinct figures in a readable, well-organized
form. He provides registration totals, total vote cast, and the vote by
candidate for the three races he includes. Additionally, the Demo-
cratic candidate's percentage and plurality in each race is listed by
precinct. The inclusion of precinct maps for all forty-three counties
is of great benefit to users of the data.
The value of Tarrance's work will be enhanced by the availability
within the next year of the 1970 census data. Although census tracts

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed July 10, 2014.