Texas 32nd District
North Dallas has long been the home of the city’s elite, and indeed, of a good portion of the nation’s elite. Early in the 20th century, the city’s richest citizens started moving away from old neighborhoods adjacent to downtown and out past Turtle Creek to the area around the suburbs of Highland Park and University Park—the Park Cities. Dallas grew lustily from mid-century on, and beyond the Park Cities, miles of affluent neighborhoods were built, especially between the Central Expressway and the Dallas North Tollway. Gallerias and office complexes followed. Not all of North Dallas is like that. There is an entertainment and singles apartment corridor along Greenville Avenue, working-class neighborhoods here and there, and pockets of Latino neighborhoods near the freeways. But overall, the tone has been set by the Dallas elite. In the 1960s and 1970s, this was one of the most politically conservative parts of the country. People believed in free markets, personal responsibility and the Republican Party. Since 1992, North Dallas has moved, like elite parts of other big metropolitan areas, toward the Democrats. The number of affluent women voting Democratic on the abortion issue is much smaller than in affluent quadrants of New York and Los Angeles, but there are some. In the 1990s, both Republicans George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lived in North Dallas, in or near the Park Cities. Bush moved to Austin in January 1995 to become governor, and Cheney changed his residence back to Wyoming in July 2000 so that he could be nominated vice president. After eight years in the White House, George and Laura Bush returned to their Preston Hollow neighborhood, to an 8,500-square-foot home on an acre of land that’s only a few miles from his planned presidential library at Southern Methodist University.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 32nd Congressional District of Texas includes most of the area commonly thought of as North Dallas: the Park Cities and affluent North Dallas neighborhoods extending to the Dallas County line. The district also includes some affluent suburbs in Dallas County: parts of racially diverse Richardson northeast of the city and Addison to the northwest. The 2003 redistricting removed some suburban territory and added blue-collar and Democratic-tending Irving and the heavily Latino Oak Cliff neighborhoods south of the Trinity River, where Lee Harvey Oswald was captured inside the old Texas Theater on November 22, 1963, shortly after he killed President John F. Kennedy. Bush’s vote declined here in 2004 to 60%, and the Republican vote dropped further in 2008, when John McCain got 53%, in part because of an increase in Democratic-voting Latino voters. (Redistricting and an influx of Latinos had raised the Hispanic percentage from 27% to 42% by 2007.) With the adjacent 30th District also heavily Hispanic, it’s easy to envision redistricters after the 2010 census creating a new Hispanic district in this area. Texas is expected to gain three or four seats following the 2010 census.