Joe Biden Narrowly Leads Donald Trump in New Texas Presidential Poll

A new poll from Texas shows that voters in the typically right-leaning Lone Star State are favoring Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden over President Donald Trump, but that they still prefer their incumbent Republican senator over the Democratic challenger.

In a poll released Monday by progressive firm Data for Progress, 47 percent of likely Texas voters chose Biden, compared to 46 percent for Trump. Another 5 percent said they were unsure of their choice, while 3 percent indicated they would vote for a third party candidate. Biden's lead falls well within the poll's 3.2 percent margin of error.

Meanwhile, likely voters chose to keep Republican incumbent Senator John Cornyn in office by a 3-point margin over Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar.

Biden's advantage exists only when those who "lean" towards a candidate are included in the results. When the poll only included those who were certain, Trump had a slight lead of 46 percent to 44 percent. The poll was conducted between October 15 and October 18 among 933 likely Texas voters.

The poll included 180 respondents who said they had already cast ballots in early voting, which began in Texas on October 13. Among those who already voted, 57 percent said they had voted for Biden, compared to 41 percent for the president.

Polling for the presidential race in the Republican-leaning state has been closer than many had expected recently, although Trump is still ahead in a majority of polls. An average of recent polls by polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight shows the president ahead by just under 1 percent as of Monday night.

A Data for Progress poll released on October 7 found Biden with a 47 percent to 45 percent lead over Trump. The lead was reversed in a Morning Consult poll from last week, with Trump leading Biden 49 percent to 47 percent.

With 38 electoral college votes, a Biden victory in Texas would make it extremely difficult for Trump to win the election. Political experts have long predicted that the traditionally Republican "red state" could turn into a "blue state" due to shifting demographics.

However, no Democratic presidential candidate has won the state since former President Jimmy Carter won in 1976. Democrats believe that could change this year.

"Texans are demanding change, having their voices heard, and it's clear Joe Biden is breaking through," Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement after Biden's ABC town hall event last week.

"Texas voters, fifth generation and newcomers, are looking for a leader who will end this COVID-19 crisis, protect those with preexisting conditions and expand health care, fight for racial justice, and provide competent, selfless leadership during a crisis," Hinojosa added. "That leader is Joe Biden."

Newsweek reached out to the Trump and Biden campaigns for comment.

The new Data for Progress poll also queried voters about the state's race for U.S. Senate. When those leaning towards candidates were included, Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar was trailing incumbent Republican Senator John Cornyn by only 3 percent, within the margin of error.

Cornyn had a stronger 7 percent lead when voters who leaned towards a candidate were excluded, although 54 percent of those who already cast ballots said they had voted for Hegar, compared to 44 percent for Cornyn.

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden waves while walking in Wilmington, Delaware on October 19, 2020. Drew Angerer/Getty