Poll #2 from this week stands in contrast to Poll #1.
Former vice president Joe Biden has stretched his lead in Texas in the Democratic presidential fight, buoyed by gains among Hispanics, a new Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll has found.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has the most enthusiastic backing of any of the major Democratic presidential contenders, according to the poll.
However, among Texas Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, Sanders is running further behind Biden than he did in two statewide polls by UT-Tyler last fall.
Biden now leads Sanders, 35% to 18%. In the East Texas university’s September and November polls, the front-running Biden bested Sanders by only 9 percentage points.
In the latest survey, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tied for third with 16% each. Bloomberg, who is concentrating on Super Tuesday states, has spent $24 million on ads in Texas, according to Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis Group.
The poll launches a new initiative for the 2020 election by The News and the UT Tyler Center for Opinion Research. It was conducted Jan. 21-30 with 1,169 registered voters — 305 surveyed by phone and 864 through online surveys — and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.87 percentage points.
Texans’ views of Trump’s job performance have improved slightly since the fall, and he leads all major Democrats in head-to-head, general election match-ups.
Still, if the November election were held today, Biden and Bloomberg both would be competitive against the Republican incumbent in Texas, the poll found.
Trump leads Biden, 44% to 42%. He leads Bloomberg, his bitter enemy from the Gotham business world, 45% to 42%. Both leads were within the poll’s margin of error.
In hypothetical general election match-ups, Trump leads Sanders, 45% to 39% and Warren, 46% to 37%. The president had double-digit edges over three others.
There’s more, including Senate race stuff, which as has been the case for the Democratic Senate primary, hasn’t been very useful. The UT-Tyler Polling Center page is here, but as of Sunday when I drafted this they have not posted the press release and full data from this poll. You can see their November result here, and it is a big difference, with Biden closer to Trump and Sanders farther away.
The point here is not that this poll is right and that Lyceum poll from a few days ago is wrong. It’s that we don’t have enough data to know which may be closer to the truth as it stands right now. They may both be inaccurate. This is why you don’t take one poll result as the whole story, because the next poll right around the corner may tell you something very different. We will get more data soon – at the very least, it’s about time for the next UT/Texas Tribune poll – and we can then consider the whole body of evidence that we have and see what that tells us.
I’m glad that this poll had a Trump/Bloomberg question, too. I hope all polls going forward, at least until he’s no longer a viable candidate, include him in the head-to-heads. Not because I like Bloomberg as a candidate, but because at this point it would be silly not to include him. I will also note that in this poll, Trump has a narrower lead over his top competitors than he did in November even though his approval rating has notched up. The UT-Tyler poll is also one where Trump has consistently failed to break fifty percent, though that appears to be a function of a sizable “don’t know/undecided” contingent. I expect that group to shrink once the Dems have a nominee, at which point we’ll get an indication of where those folks were leaning. In the meantime, I hope we get some more of these before we start voting.