Poll: Beto O'Rourke leads 2020 Democrats in Texas by 3 points, followed by Biden

Poll: Beto O'Rourke leads 2020 Democrats in Texas by 3 points, followed by Biden

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) leads the 2020 primary field in his home state by 3 points over the front-runner, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE, according a new poll released Tuesday

O’Rourke saw a 12-point uptick, from 15 to 27 percent, since last month’s University of Texas poll — pulling into first among Texas voters. Biden’s support increased 1 point, from 23 percent to 24 percent, placing him second to O’Rourke.

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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Krystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans 2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MORE (I-Vt.) trailed in third at 15 percent, and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) are statistically tied within the margin of error at 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

According to the Texas poll, O’Rourke’s lead widens to 38 percent among primary voters when the survey included independent Democratic-leaners, whereas Biden’s support shrinks to 19 percent when such voters are factored in. 

The Texas primary will be held on March 3, “Super Tuesday,” along with the primaries in 16 other states. 

O’Rourke, as an underdog Senate candidate, lost to incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE (R) in 2018, but the close race for state-wide office in what was once seen as a Republican stronghold is putting the state back in play for 2020.

A Democratic presidential candidate has not won the state in 40 years, since President Carter in 1976. 

Four of the six leading primary candidates in Texas beat Trump in a general election mockup, based on the poll.

O’Rourke holds the strongest lead over Trump, at 48.8 percent to 37.6 percent. Warren holds a 40.7 to 38.2 percent lead, Sanders holds a 39.2 to 37.3 percent lead, and Harris tops Trump with 39.8 percent to 38.5 percent.

Trump holds a lead over Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, though only two-tenths of a point separate the two candidates. Trump wins 37.1 percent to Biden's 36.9 percent. Trump has a larger lead over Buttigieg, taking 38.6 percent to Buttigieg's 33 percent.

Although O’Rourke appears to be polling strong with Texas voters, he’s trailing the crowded field in most national polls, barely breaking 3 percent. A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows O’Rourke at 2.8 percent, trailing Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (D). 

Twenty of the 2020 Democrats will face off Tuesday and Wednesday in two nights of debates in Detroit. 

O’Rourke is one of eight candidates that has already met the threshold to qualify for the third debate, which will be held in Houston at Texas Southern University on Sept. 12 and Sept. 13.

--Updated at 11:06 a.m.