In what may portend trouble next year for Donald Trump in particular, and Texas Republicans in general, a new poll released Wednesday shows that if the presidential election were held today, the president would be in a race too close to call among Texas voters against any one of seven Democratic candidates seeking to unseat Trump. The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading the Democratic field 48-to-44 percent in a head-to-head matchup against Trump. At least six other Democratic candidates in the field of 23 are within a statistical dead heat with Trump.
“In historically red-leaning Texas, the report for the rest of the Democratic field is not so bad either, which could spell trouble for President Trump,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement. “It is the largest state in the country with a Republican edge.”
There are plenty of other interesting findings in the poll, though let’s say upfront that we shouldn’t read too much into what is still the very early stages of the 2020 election. In any case, Texas Democrats seem to want Beto O’Rourke to run for the Senate against John Cornyn instead of trying to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. Only 27 percent of Texas Democrats want the El Paso Democrat to run for president versus 60 percent who want him to take on Cornyn. Still, Beto is the second choice of Texans, behind Biden, to take on Trump.
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“The data shows home-state hopeful, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, is doing OK in the presidential matchup, but Democratic voters would prefer he leave the presidential campaign and run for the U.S. Senate,” said Brown. The poll does not show how O’Rourke would do against Cornyn in a head-to-head matchup.
In other matchups between Trump and Democratic candidates, Texas voters surveyed said they would vote for:
- Trump at 46 percent to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at 45 percent;
- Trump at 47 percent to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at 44 percent;
- Trump at 48 percent to O’Rourke with 45 percent;
- Trump with 46 percent to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 44 percent;
- Trump at 47 percent to California Senator Kamala Harris at 43 percent;
- Trump with 46 percent and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro at 43 percent.
Biden is the preferred Democratic nominee among Texas Democratic respondents, drawing 30 percent. He is followed by O’Rourke at 16 percent; 15 percent for Sanders; 11 percent for Warren; 4 percent each for Harris and Castro; and 3 percent for Buttigieg. No other Democratic candidate tops 2 percent.
Of note for the other Texan in the race, Castro, is that only 10 percent of the respondents who identified themselves as Hispanic drew his support for president. Biden had 20 percent Texas Hispanic support; Sanders had 21 percent; O’Rourke had 14 percent; and Warren had 15 percent.
While the poll does not offer a matchup between Cornyn, who is running for re-election next year, and any other Democrat, it does ask about job approval and the answers suggest Cornyn is vulnerable. Respondents approved of Cornyn’s job in the Senate by a margin of 44 to 33 percent. But they also indicated approval of the job that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is doing by a higher margin of 50 to 42 percent. O’Rourke came within three percentage points of defeating Cruz last year.
Finally, Texas respondents seem to want nothing to do with impeaching Trump. Sixty percent of the respondents said Congress should not impeach the president, while 34 percent favored impeachment. While 89 percent of the respondents who identified themselves as Republicans said no to impeachment, more than one in four of those who identified as Democrats said “no” to impeachment.
The poll was taken between May 29 and June 4, and contains a margin of error of 5.8 percentage points. Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,159 Texas voters, including 407 respondents who said they were Democrats or leaned Democratic.