Sanders Leads Rivals in Texas on Eve of Super Tuesday

SAN ANTONIO (CN) – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has the support of 31% of Texas Democrats in a new statewide poll released on the eve of Super Tuesday, when 14 states will weigh in on the 2020 presidential nominating contest.

Sanders maintained a 5-point advantage over his closest rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in the delegate-rich state in the Emerson College/Nexstar poll of very likely Democratic primary voters. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg came in third with 16%, followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren with 14%.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, with his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders, waves his hand during a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 22, 2020. (Briana Sanchez/The El Paso Times via AP)

The bottom half of candidates include three who have dropped out of the race in the last 48 hours: former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and businessman Tom Steyer. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard held onto 3% of support in the poll conducted over the weekend.

Sanders gained considerable ground since the last Emerson College poll of Texas voters in August, edging up 15 points, while support for Biden and Warren slightly dropped. Bloomberg had not announced his candidacy when the fall poll was conducted.

According to the new poll released Monday, Sanders continues to maintain popularity among younger voters, garnering 46% of support from those under the age of 50. Warren comes in next among that voting demographic with 15%, followed by Bloomberg at 13% and Biden with 12%.

Hispanic voters also largely favored Sanders with 48% supporting him, compared to 17% for Biden, 15% for Bloomberg and 13% favoring Warren. Sanders, a Vermont senator who nearly clinched the 2016 Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton, also slightly leads among white voters.

The poll found that Biden performs the strongest with African-Americans voters in the Lone Star State with 43% support, followed by Sanders at 19%, Bloomberg at 14% and Warren at 11%.

Biden’s support among African-Americans was evident after a resounding win Saturday in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, giving the former vice president a much-needed boost ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries.

More delegates will be awarded in Texas’ Democratic primary on Tuesday than all of the previous primaries combined, with 228 delegates up for grabs. More than 1 million early voters have already cast ballots in the state’s primary, surpassing 2016 early vote totals.

Sanders also commanded a decisive 13-point lead among his Democratic rivals in North Carolina, according to a High Point University poll out Monday. In the poll, Sanders led with 31%, followed by Bloomberg with 18%, Biden with 14% and Warren at 11%.

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