Poll Finds Democrats Can’t Beat Trump in Texas

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(CN) – President Donald Trump would win Texas over his 2020 Democratic rivals if the election were held today, according to a new poll that shows little sign of a looming blue wave that national Democrats are hoping will hit the reliably red state.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont ran the thinnest margin of defeat in the hypothetical matchups against Trump, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Monday. Trump led Sanders in the survey of 1,200 Texas voters by 5 percentage points, 45 to 40%.

While former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead in national polling, he came 7 percentage points behind Trump in Texas, as did Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The poll offered no home-field advantage for either Texan that was in the race. Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who ended his presidential campaign on Friday, trailed Trump by 6%, while former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro held the furthest distance with a 13-point spread.

Democratic leaders have insisted for months that the shifting demographics in Texas, together with encouraging midterm gains, make the Lone Star State increasingly competitive for Republicans in 2020.

In April, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began pouring resources into Texas, as part of its strategy that includes an on-the-ground presence in the state’s four largest cities: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.

The approach has already yielded some results: three of the six congressional Republicans on the DCCC’s target list of House members it considered vulnerable have announced their retirements, including Will Hurd, Pete Olson and Kenny Marchant. John Carter, Michael McCaul and Chip Roy have all announced re-election bids.

Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Manny Garcia said in an email Monday that Democrats “are in a prime position to turn Texas blue.”

“We are one year out from the election, and the Texas Democratic Party is in a strong position to win up and down the ballot. Thanks to our expert staff, innovative programs, outstanding allies, and key partnerships, we’re on pace to turn Texas blue in 2020,” Garcia said.

But voters in the UT/Texas Tribune poll were equally inclined to vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district as much as the Republican, each pulling in 43% support.

And while Trump currently leads the top Democrats in the nomination field, the poll still shows he could be vulnerable. Nearly half, 46%, said they would “definitely vote for someone else” in the presidential election, while 6% of those surveyed said they would “probably” vote for someone other than Trump.

Trump carried Texas’ 36 electoral votes over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a 9-point advantage, 52 to 43%.

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