DALLAS (CN) — Separate polls by The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times show President Donald Trump and Joe Biden each holding narrow single-digit leads in Texas with eight days until Election Day, indicating a race that is too close to call in the reliably Republican state.
Released Monday, the Times/Siena College poll shows Trump leading Biden 47% to 43% among likely Texas voters. The majority of the 802 likely Texas voters responded to the poll before the second and final presidential debate on Oct. 22.
The Times poll indicates Trump has unlikely strength among Blacks and Latinos. Biden holds a lead of 57% to 34% among Latinos, slightly less than the 60% to 29% support Hillary Clinton received in Texas in 2016. Black respondents said they support Biden by a margin of 78% to 12% – 4% lower than for Clinton in 2016.
While working class and rural white voters make up the core of Trump’s base in Texas, there are signs of rapidly deteriorating support among white, college-educated voters. The Times poll shows Trump’s 24% margin over Clinton in that segment of voters has evaporated into a 2% deficit to Biden.
The gains Biden has notched with white rural voters in other states has apparently failed to register in Texas, with Trump maintaining an 80% to 15% lead in that segment of voters in the Times poll.
The Times poll was published one day after a Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll showed Biden leading Trump in Texas 46% to 44%, a 4-point improvement over the same poll in September. The 1,012 registered voters responded to the poll by Oct. 20, two days before the final presidential debate.
The Morning News poll indicates the key to Biden’s lead is his success with independent voters. Approximately 49% of independent respondents support Biden, while only 29% are for Trump. Ninety-two percent of Democrats support Biden while 90% of Republicans support Trump.
Biden’s edge among independents is more muddled regarding those who are undecided, with only 22% of those leaning towards Biden while 20% lean towards Trump.
The tightening presidential race in Texas comes as Democrats have openly grumbled at the Biden campaign’s lack of spending in the state, traditionally viewed as a Republican stronghold for a generation. Past hopes of a Texas “blue wave” have failed to materialize at the top of the ticket.
That trend has not discouraged outside groups from spending in Texas this election cycle. A gun control advocacy group co-founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg has spent $2 million targeting two Republican congressional candidates for receiving support from the National Rifle Association.
A group of anti-Trump Republicans has also bought television advertisements attacking Senator Ted Cruz for supporting the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett during an election year. His support comes four years after he opposed the nomination of Merrick Garland during the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Both polls have Republican Senator John Cornyn holding his lead against Democrat challenger MJ Hegar, with the Times poll showing a 10% percent advantage while the Morning News poll shows an 8% lead.Follow @davejourno
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