No Democrat has won the delegate-rich state of Texas in a presidential election since 1976, with Republicans winning the Lone Star State in the last 10 elections straight — and 11 of the last 12. But according to a new poll released Friday, one Democrat of the current top six in the race now leads Trump in the contest for the state’s 36 electoral votes — the winner of Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Joe Biden.
Biden’s lead over Trump is well within the margin of error at just one point. Biden, per the CNN poll, leads Trump in Texas with 48 percent support, to 47 percent for Trump. Of the other five candidates in the survey, only Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren did not lose to Trump in Texas, coming in even at 47-47.
In the 2016 presidential election, however, Trump cruised to an easy, nine-point win over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Texas, according to results published by The Texas Tribune, meaning that the current closeness in polling between Trump and top Democrats could be an early indicator of trouble for Trump in 2020.
In the same CNN poll, Trump topped former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg by one point each. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — the current leader in pledged delegates among the Democratic field — lagged two points behind Trump, while Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar saw the widest gap, looking at a three-point deficit to Trump in Texas.
Former 2020 Democratic candidate John Delaney — a onetime Maryland congressional rep — celebrated the poll on his Twitter account, saying that Texas is a “game changer” in the November election.
“We win Texas, we win,” Delaney said, adding that ignoring Biden’s strength against Trump in the state would be done at Democrats’ “peril.”
Two other polls pitting Trump against Biden and other Democratic candidates on a nationwide basis also showed Biden performing best among the current Democrats, according to polling numbers posted by Real Clear Politics.
In a Yahoo News/YouGov poll, Sanders topped Trump in a head-to-head general election matchup by six percentage points, 48-42. But in the same poll, Biden opened up a nine-point lead over Trump, taking a full 50 percent of the national vote against Trump, the survey found.
Fox News, which in January issued a poll showing Biden crushing Trump by nine points, also released a new nationwide, head-to-head poll on Friday. This time, Biden topped Trump by eight points, 49-41. Bloomberg also managed an eight-point lead over Trump in the poll, but with 48 percent in his favor to 40 for Trump. Sanders managed only a seven-point lead over Trump in the Fox News poll, 49-42.
A Democrat last won Texas when Jimmy Carter beat incumbent Republican Gerald Ford by 3.2 percentage points there in 1976.