Texas is not a state that Democrats have traditionally aimed for in presidential elections — but that could change this year.
Citizens in the Lone Star State have chosen to give their Electoral College votes (this upcoming election, Texas will have 38) to every Republican candidate for president since 1972. In 2016, Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton lost to now-President Donald Trump in the state by a margin wider than 9 percentage points — and that’s considered a good year for the Democratic Party in Texas.
But if early polling holds true to November 2020, that could change in a drastic way, and may result in an upset for Trump under the right conditions.
According to an Emerson College poll released this week, four Democratic contenders are polling evenly with the incumbent president in Texas:
- Joe Biden leads Trump 50 percent to 49 percent;
- Beto O’Rourke is tied with Trump, with both getting 50 percent in the poll;
- Bernie Sanders trails Trump by one percent;
- and Elizabeth Warren is behind Trump, 47 percent to 53 percent.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 29, 2019
All of those numbers are within the poll’s margin of error, which means technically speaking Biden, O’Rourke, Sanders, and Warren are all tied with Trump in the state, one-and-a-half years before Election Day 2020.
Those numbers should worry Trump’s political advisers — but you wouldn’t know it from recent statements they’ve made. Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale says that he’s eyeing up at least four Democratic-leaning states in the 2020 presidential race.
“In every single metric we’re looking at being bigger, better and badder than we were in 2016,” Parscale said, per reporting from Fox News.
If voters in Texas are so far divided on who they want to win the election in 2020, Democratic voters in the state are even more confused about who they want to challenge Trump. Biden, the top contender, has 23 percent support from Democratic voters in the state, per the Emerson poll, with O’Rourke garnering 22 percent and Sanders having 17 percent.
Buttigieg is fourth in the poll with 8 percent, and Warren comes in fifth with 7 percent.