Texas Monthly‘s fearless assistant editor Abby Johnston was on the ground last night at Ted Cruz’s official watch/victory party at the Redneck Country Club (really). Her live Twitter and Snapchat analysis was spot on.
Ted Cruz's Texas victory speech, shortened. pic.twitter.com/m9OV1o37BT
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) March 2, 2016
Texas By The Numbers
Advanced Podunks? — Number of Texas students who took AP classes in 2015: 116,404. In 2005: 57,273. Percentage of seniors who took an AP test: 40 percent. National average: 37.3 percent. Portion, however, that actually scored a “3” or higher: 1 in 5.
Highly Favorable — Portion of Texas voters who approve expanding medical marijuana beyond the treatment for epilepsy: 71 percent. Opposed: 19 percent. Those opposed to recreational marijuana: 49 percent. In favor: 41 percent. Reason for increase: need to increase revenue. Most valuable college football team in the country: UT. Amount it pulled in last year: $121 million.
Economics 101 — Increase in UT-Austin students’ tuition per semester after approved hike: $304. Increase: 6 percent. UT school with the biggest increase: UT-Dallas. Hike: $361. UT school with the smallest increase: UT-RGV. Increase over next two years: $148.
Cruz Country — Congratulations, everyone. We survived Super Tuesday and are now experiencing Depressing Wednesday. The entire country proved it can’t have nice things like democracy last night when one of the country’s most iconic clowns (and short-fingered vulgarians) Donald J. Trump won seven Republican primaries. But how did he do in the only state that really matters? Not as well! If there was any doubt that our man in Houston wouldn’t come away with a Texas win, those fears were set aside last night. Cruz won with 43.8 percent of the vote, while Trump came in second with 26.8 percent. Sad man-child Marco Rubio followed after that with 17. 7 percent. (Oh, and no one was really watching the Democratic race in Texas, but Hillary Clinton won by a lot.) Despite cheering from the Cruz camp, last night wasn’t ideal. “More problematic for Cruz were a string of defeats to Trump in most of the southern states that make up the so-called SEC primary, which was supposed to be his firewall against a Trump onslaught,” writes the Houston Chronicle. In his victory speech, he called for party unity to stop Trump, which translated to “unite with me, not Rubio.” It was a pretty crazy day in general. As numerous outlets indicated, including the Texas Tribune, the GOP primary in Texas experienced the highest turnout in over a decade. “More than 2.8 million Republican ballots were cast in Texas, approximately double the 2012 Republican primary total of 1.4 million,” details the piece. “Harris County, the state’s largest county, reported voters still waiting in line after 9:30 p.m., prompting more complaints and problems than usual from the field to the county clerk’s office, said Hector DeLeon, a spokesman for the office.” Way to go Texans! Thanks for performing your civic duty!
Fairly Complicated —The divide between the Texas myth versus the reality rears its ugly head in numerous way. But The Dallas Observer has pointed to one that is perhaps more iconic than most examples—Fair Park. While the annual State Fair keeps getting bigger, attracting more than 2.5 million visitors and $53 million in coupons, an $11 million increase from the year before, for the rest of the year, the park is abandoned and, worse, falling into disrepair. With numerous details, the Observer sketches out just how ugly Fair Park has become, whether it’s the useless sea of parking lots, or the outdated electrical power system, ugly and including utility rooms that look like “the mothballed set for an early Frankenstein movie.” Everyone, including the mayor, has an idea or plan on how to fix up what the paper refers to as the town’s first, abandoned wife (as opposed to the “architectural trophy wives” of “the lavish and glitzy new Arts District downtown). City leaders, see “the need for a new structure of governance. They agree on the need for a major infusion of capital to repair the park.” Compounding the problem of Old Dallas having a death grip on its preciousness for the State Fair, however, are the racial politics involved, historical and still pressing, as poorer neighborhoods around Fair Park continue to be left behind.
Nurse Texas — Great Texas news from an East Coast publication! You can now watch New Yorker shows (yes, shows) in the privacy of your home or mobile device, and in their latest episode “filmmaker Dawn Porter travels to Port Arthur, Texas, to follow a nurse named Nicole Schroeder who works in the Nurse-Family Partnership there … which sends nurses on regular visits to young mothers living in poverty,” details the write-up in, er, the New Yorker. “As Schroeder makes her rounds to visit her clients—’my girls,’ she calls them—she functions not just as a medical adviser but as a confidant and mentor, coaching the mothers through education, employment, and relationship decisions.” If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can watch the 27 minute episode (and the entire first season) for free. Barring that, maybe borrow the login from your artsy aunt in New York. Either way, the show is a great watch for Texans.