Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Biden (D) are in a virtual dead heat in Texas, a YouGov/University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs poll released Monday showed.
The survey, taken February 6-18, 2020, among 1,352 likely Democrat primary voters, signaled a competitive race for first place in Texas, with Biden edging out Sanders by less than half a percentage point.
The former vice president garnered 22.5 percent, followed by Sanders with 22.1 percent support.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who suffered a lackluster showing in both New Hampshire and Nevada, came in third with 18.3 percent support. Mike Bloomberg (D), who is counting on a strong Super Tuesday showing, fell to fourth place in the Lone Star State, receiving 13.4 percent support. Pete Buttigieg (D) followed with 11.9 percent, followed by 7.2 percent for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), 3.5 percent for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and 1.1 percent for Tom Steyer (D). The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percent.
Jim Granato, executive director of the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, said Democrat voters across Texas expressed defeating President Trump as their top priority, “but their choices suggest they don’t agree on the best way to do that.”
“Voters were almost evenly split between moderate Joe Biden, a former vice president, and progressive Bernie Sanders,” he noted.
According to the survey, 57.1 percent of respondents indicated beating Trump as their top priority.
Sanders expressed utmost confidence to supporters in San Antonio on Saturday evening, predicting a big win in the Lone Star State and not just in the Democrat primary.
“No campaign has a grassroots campaign like we do, which is another reason we are going to win this election,” he said, adding, “Don’t tell him [Trump] we’re going to beat him in Texas.”
“We are going to win in Texas and across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time,” he continued.
Sanders held multiple rallies in Texas over the weekend, drawing more than 28,000 attendees, total, according to his campaign. Former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (D) appeared at the socialist senator’s rally in Austin on Sunday and formally endorsed him.
Monday’s RealClearPolitics rolling average showed Sanders holding a slight edge over Biden in Texas; the March 3 primary is nearly a week away.