Consider this to be for entertainment purposes only.
In a very early look at possible 2020 presidential matchups in Texas, President Donald Trump is essentially tied with former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders or former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. President Trump leads other possible Democratic contenders by small margins.
Hypothetical matchups by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll show:
- President Trump at 47 percent, including 41 percent of independent voters, to Biden’s 46 percent, including 46 percent of independent voters;
- Trump at 47 percent, including 41 percent of independent voters, to Sanders’ 45 percent, including 48 percent of independent voters;
- Trump at 47 percent, including 41 percent of independent voters, to O’Rourke’s 46 percent, including 48 percent of independent voters.
Trump has leads, driven mainly by a shift among independent voters, over other possible Democratic candidates:
- 46 – 41 percent over former San Antonio Mayor and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro;
- 48 – 41 percent over U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California;
- 48 – 41 percent over U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Biden, Sanders and O’Rourke share similar support among Democrats and voters 18 – 34 years old.
“The 2020 presidential race in Texas, and how some of Democrats stack up against President Donald Trump, begins as a two-tiered contest. There are three more well-known contenders who run evenly against President Donald Trump. Another group, less well-known, are just a little behind Trump,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
“Former Vice President Joe Biden has the highest favorability of any of the contenders and has a better net favorability than President Trump,” Brown added. “Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke also does relatively well on favorability and in a matchup with Trump, but that may well be due to O’Rourke being a home-state favorite.
“But former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, who is also a former San Antonio mayor, does not do as well as O’Rourke.”
Among Texas voters, 47 percent have a favorable opinion of Trump, with 49 percent unfavorable. Favorability ratings for possible Democratic challengers are:
- Biden: 48 – 38 percent;
- Sanders: Negative 41 – 47 percent;
- O’Rourke: Divided 44 – 40 percent;
- Harris: Negative 24 – 33 percent;
- Warren: Negative 27 – 42 percent;
- Castro: Divided 23 – 27 percent;
- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey: 51 percent haven’t heard enough to form an opinion;
- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: 53 percent haven’t heard enough to form an opinion;
- U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York: 68 percent haven’t heard enough to form an opinion;
- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota: 70 percent haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.
Texas Senate Race
In an early look at the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Texas, Republican incumbent Sen. John Cornyn and possible Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke are tied 46 – 46 percent. Independent voters go to O’Rourke 47 – 40 percent.
From February 20 – 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,222 Texas voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, including the design effect.
I’m gonna bullet-point this one:
– It’s ridiculously early. Don’t overthink this.
– Differences between the top three Dems and everyone else is at least 95% about name recognition and nothing else.
– We just don’t have any polls from similar time frames to compare to. The earliest polls from the 2016 and 2012 cycles that I tracked were from the actual election years, mostly after the nominees had been settled. More than a year later in the cycle from where we are now, in other words.
– That said, the high level of responses is interesting, and probably reflects the fact that basically everyone has an opinion about Donald Trump. In that sense, the dynamic is more like 2012, which was also a Presidential re-election year. Look at the numbers on the right sidebar for 2012, and you’ll see that there were very few “undecided” or “other” respondents. If that is a valid basis for comparison, then Trump starts out at least a couple of points behind Mitt Romney. Given that Romney wound up at 57%, that’s not necessarily a bad place for him to be. Romney also never polled below fifty percent, so there’s that. Again, it’s stupid early. Don’t overthink this.
– There are reports now that Beto will not be running for Senate, in which case we can ignore those numbers even more. I’ll wait till I see the words from Beto himself, but to be sure he’s not talked much if at all about running for Senate again, so this seems credible to me. Without Beto in the race, if that is indeed the case, Cornyn will probably poll a bit better than Trump, at least early on when name recognition is again a factor. In the end, though, I think Cornyn rises and falls with Trump. I can imagine him outperforming Trump by a bit, but not that much. If it’s not Beto against Cornyn, I look forward to seeing who does jump in, and how they poll later on in the cycle.