College Station, Texas is home to Texas A&M, one of the largest universities in the United States. It’s centrally located in all of Texas’s major cities and home to thousands of people. Texas is known for its conservatives, but is College Station a conservative city with all of its young people?
College Station, Texas is a conservative city. Brazos County, where College Station is, voted 55.9% for Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 election and 41.6% for Joe Biden (D). The city is also known for having the George HW Bush Presidential Library and generally retains the conservative Texas culture.
Even in Texas though there is still a lot of variety in the people that live here. We’ll go over the election history of the area and some of the policies that conservatives care about so that you can decide if it’s conservative or not.
Information About College Station, Texas
- Population: 120,019
- Race: White (non Hispanic) 62.4%, Hispanic/Latino 17.2%, Asian 10.2%, Black 7.7%
- Median Household Income: $47,456
College Station is first and foremost a college town, and many studies have shown that cities with highly educated residents are oftentimes liberal. This is not the case in College Station. The city is home to Texas A&M, which is the 2nd largest university in the US, enrolling 73,284 students. Texas A&M is also highly rated for being a best-value college providing a high-quality education at a lower cost. Most of the students live in College Station and neighboring Bryan Texas.
Many of the things to do in College Station revolve around normal college student activities, with the football games being a major event for the city.
The town is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library. The former president has stated that he fell in love with the school in college station and decided to build the library there. As President Bush was a Republican it does have some influence on the town in that regard.
College Station is part of Brazos County, Texas which voted 55.9% for the republican candidate in the 2020 election and 41.6% for the Democrat candidate. In the 2016 election, the county voted 58.5% for the Republican candidate and only 34.9% for the Democratic candidate.
Texas as a state has not voted for a Democrat for president since the presidential election of 1976, and College Station has maintained a similar record.
In the race for US Senator in 2020, Brazos county voted 58.6% for the conservative candidate and 38.1% for the liberal candidate. This was an even higher margin than the presidential race, possibly because more people in general vote for president than in other elections down-ballot, but also could suggest that some conservative voters were willing to vote for the other candidates but not for Donald Trump, who some conservatives had issues with.
College Station, Texas is in Texas’s 17th congressional district, which it shares with the cities of Bryan and Waco. Brazos county voted 57.5% for the Republican candidate and 38.6% for the Democrat candidate in the 2020 presidential election. It’s expected to vote similarly in the next election.
Redistricting in the area could potentially result in College Station being split between the 17th and the 10th House Districts. This doesn’t seem like it would change the conservative nature of either district.
State and Local Elections
In the 2018 election for Governor of Texas, Brazos county voted 61.44 % for the republican candidate Greg Abbot. The Democratic candidate in that race received 36.4% of the vote. Texas has had a republican governor since 1994. Republicans are currently favored by polls to win the state again in 2022, but the gap that they have built up over several years has narrowed in some areas of the state.
Currently, all of the senators and representatives for College Station in the Texas state legislature are republicans. Republicans generally have been winning Brazos county by 15% to 20% in most races, including during elections for justices and judges for Texas. Winning those judge and justice seats helps ensure that the law is interpreted consistently with conservative principles. Since how the law is interpreted is just as important as the law itself, this makes the area more conservative.
Texas has no state or local income taxes.
College Station has a combined sales tax rate of about 8.25% between the state, county, and city. The state of Texas currently has a state sales tax of 6.25%. Brazos county has a sales tax rate of 0.5% and the city of College Station has a city sales tax rate of 1.5%. That rate is the same in neighboring Bryan, Texas. 8.25% is fairly high for sales tax compared to other states.
Texas does tend to make up for its lack of income taxes with a high property tax rate. Texas ranks #6 for the highest property taxes in the US. A house in College Station will have a property tax rate of about 2.2%, including the city, county, and school district.
Overall, the state’s tax burden sits around the middle of US states. While they do have high property and sales tax rates, the lack of an income tax helps offset the cost of other taxes.
Public Education became an important issue for parents after kids began remote education in 2020. Many conservative parents have been particularly concerned with how their schools are teaching students about race. In 2021, Texas passed a law that restricted teachers from teaching their students about controversial current public policy and social issues, including critical race theory, effectively banning teachers from implementing critical race theory in their teaching.
Texas also has a law in place that requires students who participate in school sports to participate on the team that matches their sex at birth.
Those in the Brazos county school district are concerned with the teacher shortage. The state recently allowed the county to hire those with a bachelor’s degree don’t have a teacher’s certificate as teachers in the area to help combat the shortage. This issue doesn’t appear to be particularly partisan, but it is an important consideration in the area of public education at the moment.
Texas is a fairly conservative state when it comes to its gun policy and second amendment issues. Texas adopted a permitless carry law in 2021. This law allows anyone over 21 to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense. You are also allowed to open carry as long as the gun stays holstered at all times.
Texas A&M in College Station also allows concealed carry on its campus.
When concealed carrying Texas does require you to inform a police officer when giving them your information if you are carrying a firearm. The state also enforces no firearm signs in a few different ways depending on the sign.
Texas has no state-specific restrictions on magazine capacity or style of gun. There is no special registration or permit for the purchase of a handgun as well. The state also has no red flag laws in place.
One of the recent laws that conservatives in Texas passed is their silencer law. Since the early 20th century, silencers for weapons have been highly regulated by the National Firearms Act. In order to obtain one, you have to pay a special tax and often wait several months for the government to process your paperwork.
The Federal Government bases its ability to regulate suppressors on its power over interstate commerce given to it in the constitution. Texas passed a law saying that as long as the suppressor is manufactured in Texas and remains in Texas, it is not subject to federal regulation. The law has yet to have much effect since there haven’t been any court cases to put the state law to the test against the federal one, but it does show how conservative Texas laws are on gun policy.
Abortion is now banned in Texas since the overturning of Roe v Wade. Texas was one of the states that had passed a trigger law stating that if the Roe v Wade decision was overturned by the US Supreme Court, the practice would be outlawed in the state.
The law in Texas primarily punishes abortion providers in the state that receive an abortion and it specifically exempts the expectant mother from prosecution by the state for abortions performed.
Most residents of liberal cities are pro-abortion, while most residents of conservative cities are anti-abortion, so it would make sense that in a conservative city like College Station, most residents do not support making abortions legal.
What Parts of College Station are More Conservative?
College Station is a mostly conservative area and you will find plenty of conservatives in almost any part of the city. The area immediately surrounding Texas A&M has more liberal students living there, but in almost any other part of the city, you will be living in a majority conservative area.
Overall, College Station, Texas is an extremely conservative city, and it is not expected to become more liberal anytime in the near future.