Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE have narrow leads over President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in the Lone Star State, according to a new poll, as Democrats hope to make it competitive in the 2020 race.
O’Rourke has a 2.3-point advantage in a hypothetical match-up with Trump, according to a new University of Texas at Tyler poll, with 42 percent of registered voters backing the former congressman and 39.7 percent supporting the president.
Biden beats Trump by 1.6 points, getting the support of 39.6 percent of registered voters compared with 38 percent for Trump.
Biden is aided by a roughly 12-point advantage over Trump among Texas independents, while O’Rourke has a roughly 9-point edge over Trump among the same group.
Biden and O’Rourke are also buoyed by Trump’s underwater approval rating in Texas. Just under 40 percent of registered voters approve of the job he’s doing as president while 52.3 percent disapprove.
The UT-Tyler poll also tested head-to-head matchups between the president and other Democratic White House hopefuls including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE. None of them beats Trump in the poll.
The survey is the latest showing at least some Democratic candidates running close to or leading the president in Texas, a longtime conservative stronghold.
Democrats have hoped that changing demographics in the Lone Star State and O’Rourke’s insurgent, but failed, Senate bid last year could expand and energize the party’s base. Democrats are particularly hoping to make inroads in suburbs around Houston and other major cities after the GOP suffered defeats in suburban House districts across the country in last year’s midterms.
Texas has not gone for the Democratic presidential nominee in more than 40 years, but Trump won the state by 9 points in 2016, the closest margin of victory for the GOP candidate in 20 years.
The new UT-Tyler poll surveyed 1,199 registered voters from Sept. 13 to 15 and has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
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