Top Democrat candidates are trailing President Trump in a general election matchup in Texas, a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll shows.
The survey, taken October 18-27, among 1,200 registered voters, found that none of the Democrats in the presidential race, not even top candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Joe Biden (D), or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would be able to defeat Trump in the Lone Star state.
Respondents were asked, “Who would you vote for in this possible general election matchup?”
The survey showed both Warren and Biden trailing Trump by seven points, 39 percent to Trump’s 46 percent. Sanders, while still losing, suffers a defeat by a smaller margin, 40 percent to Trump’s 45 percent. Even Texas native Beto O’Rourke (D), who dropped out of the presidential race last week, lost to the president, with 41 percent to Trump’s 47 percent.
The survey also shows former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (D) falling to Trump in a head to head matchup by double digits, or 13 percentage points. The margin of error is +/- 2.83 percent.
The results were as follows:
Trump: 46 percent
Warren: 39 percent
Trump: 46 percent
Biden: 39 percent
Trump: 45 percent
Sanders: 40 percent
Trump: 46 percent
Castro: 33 percent
Trump: 47 percent
O’Rourke: 41 percent
However, the Texas Tribune notes that “significant numbers of Democrats are holding back their votes — possibly a sign that while they oppose the Republican incumbent, they favor a different Democrat”:
For instance, 89% of Republicans say they would support Trump over Biden, and 5% say they would favor Biden, leaving 6% unwilling to pick. But in the same race, 82% of Democrats favor Biden, and 4% favor Trump, leaving 14% who either like another Democrat more or don’t want to pick yet. The biggest gap was in the Trump-Castro matchup, where 93% of Republicans have a definite choice and only 71% of Democrats do.
Joshua Blank, research director of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin, does not necessarily believe the results will reflect what will happen in the general election, but he noted that the results become “more Republican” as they “move from registered voters to likely voters in Texas.”
A blue shift scare has been on the mind of the GOP as Democrats continue in their attempts to flip Texas blue. Last year’s Texas senate race, between Sen. Ted Cruz (D-TX) and O’Rourke, sparked concerns, as Cruz narrowly defeated his Democrat challenger 50.9 percent to 48.3 percent. However, as Breitbart News pointed out, O’Rourke lost despite “tremendous support from Hollywood and double the campaign contributions– $70.2 million to Cruz’s $33.4 million.”
Nonetheless, the results were still too close for comfort for the GOP, which has been beefing up resources in Texas ever since.
“Without our 38 electoral votes, no Republican candidate has a path to victory for the foreseeable future. That is why we are asking for the support of people around the country,” Republican Party of Texas chairman James Dickey said on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday in April.
“One of the things that we face as a challenge in Texas is people assume that Texas always has been and always will be red. That’s not true. It was only 16 years ago that Republicans even took the Texas House,” Dickey continued.
“Democrats have been pouring money and pouring resources into Texas to try and flip Texas,” he added.
Trump won Texas in 2016 with 52.2 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 43.2 percent.