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 BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit 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.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war Congress must address the looming debt crisis MORE (I-Vt.) trailed in third at 15 percent, and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' The Trojan Horse of protectionism Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCIA chief team member reported Havana syndrome symptoms during trip to India: report Harris booked for first in-studio talk show appearance as VP on 'The View' Republicans caught in California's recall trap 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 CruzPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Republican politicians: Let OSHA do its job O'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report 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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership LGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg 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.