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Donald Trump Claims Falsely He Won All Texas Border Counties in 2016
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Donald Trump Claims Falsely He Won All Texas Border Counties in 2016

He won five of 14, but not ‘the entire border.’

Former President Donald Trump during a press conference at Trump Tower on May 31, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

In a recent interview on Fox and Friends Weekend, former President Donald Trump touted his electoral appeal to Hispanic voters. “They’ve always liked me, and I’ve always liked them,” Trump said. “You know, I’ve done well from the beginning. In 2016, I won the entire border along Texas, and they’re all like 85% [Hispanic].”

Trump’s claim is false: While he did win Texas by more than 800,000 votes in 2016, he received a minority of the vote in most of the state’s border counties.

There are 14 counties along the U.S.-Mexico border, running from El Paso County in the northwest to Cameron County in the southeast. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, 10 of the 14 had a majority Hispanic/Latino population, and six had a Hispanic/Latino population of more than 85 percent. 

In the 2016 presidential election, Trump received a majority of the vote in only five of these 14 border counties, losing nine of the 10 that have a majority Hispanic/Latino population. These five counties—Hudspeth (63.6 percent Hispanic/Latino), Jeff Davis (30.7 percent Hispanic/Latino), Brewster (41.5 percent Hispanic/Latino), Terrell (48.7 percent Hispanic/Latino), and Kinney (47.0 percent Hispanic/Latino)—are the same five border counties that Mitt Romney won in 2012.

Trump’s performance in Texas border counties did improve in 2020. Trump won the same five border counties he won in 2016 while adding majorities in Val Verde* (80.3 percent Hispanic/Latino) and Zapata (93.6 percent Hispanic/Latino) counties.

Correction, June 7, 2024: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Val Verde County.  

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Alex Demas is a fact checker at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in England as a financial journalist and earned his MA in Political Economy at King's College London. When not heroically combating misinformation online, Alex can be found mixing cocktails, watching his beloved soccer team Aston Villa lose a match, or attempting to pet stray cats.