Poll: Bernie Sanders Doubles Support in Texas Ahead of Super Tuesday

Democratic presidential hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders arrives to speak at a Primary Night event at the SNHU Field House in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 11, 2020. - Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire's crucial Democratic primary, beating moderate rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar in the race to challenge …
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll of Democrat voters in the state shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has doubled his support ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3.

The poll shows that Sanders has 24 percent of the self-identified Democrat primary voters, up from 12 percent in October.

The Tribune reported on the poll, which reflects the changes of the candidate field since the October poll:

The field of candidates has changed since the earlier survey. Beto O’Rourke, who was third in October, has dropped out of the race. And Michael Bloomberg, who entered the contest late, landed fourth in the newest poll, ahead of Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the second- and third-place finishers in this week’s New Hampshire primary. Warren finished fourth in that contest, with Biden fifth.

Andrew Yang, who dropped out of the presidential race this week, was behind Buttigieg and ahead of Klobuchar in the latest UT/TT Poll.

“Most of the movement has been Sanders and Bloomberg, with [former Vice President Joe] Biden [holding] still,” Joshua Blank, research director for the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, said in the article about the poll. “To be unable to increase his vote share is pretty telling for Biden.”

The poll showed that while Biden’s support was static, Sanders is surging in Texas and Bloomberg’s personal fortune, being spent toward his career, is having an impact.

“It’s not so much that Biden has collapsed as that he has been exposed,” James Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin, said. “He had superior name recognition in a crowded field. The question was whether he would build on that.”

The poll also showed that Texas voters would not vote to reelect President Donald Trump in November — 52 percent.

But along party lines Trump has solid support from the GOP; 90 percent said they would vote to reelect him, including 80 percent who said they would “definitely” cast their ballot for Trump.

“Democrats feel just as strongly: 93 percent said they would not vote for the president’s reelection, including 88 percent who would ‘definitely not’ vote for him,” the Tribune reported. “Independent voters were against reelection, but less so: 38 percent said they would vote to reelect Trump, while 62 percent said they would vote against him.”

“With Trump at the top of the ballot, in congressional and legislative races where candidates are running with margins of 5% or less, where the independent [voters] go could become a factor,” Henson said. “It adds uncertainty to those races.”

But while the poll shows Sanders gaining ground in Texas in hypothetical head-to-head races, Trump topped him and all the other top-tier candidates:

  • Trump/Sanders — 47/45
  • Trump/Biden — 47/43
  • Trump/Warren — 47/44
  • Trump/Bloomberg — 46/41
  • Trump/Buttigieg — 47/42
  • Trump/Klobuchar — 46/41

“The Trump trial ballots confirm what we’ve seen, that Trump is winning, but he clearly is under-performing, given the party profile in the state,” Daron Shaw, a government professor at UT Austin who co-directed the poll, said.

Shaw said Bloomberg’s money gives him an advantage in Texas, because he can afford to advertise in a state that’s too big to win by knocking on doors or showing up at diners. “In a state like Texas where you can’t do retail politics, he’s the king of wholesale,” Shaw said.

The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from January 31 to February 9 and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.83 percentage points, and an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4.09 percentage points for Democrat trial ballots.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.