O'Rourke, Biden hold narrow leads over Trump in Texas

O'Rourke, Biden hold narrow leads over Trump in Texas
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Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCan Republicans handle the aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to supplant Trump in Georgia Trump's Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire MORE have narrow leads over President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE in the Lone Star State, according to a new poll, as Democrats hope to make it competitive in the 2020 race.

O’Rourke has a 2.3-point advantage in a hypothetical match-up with Trump, according to a new University of Texas at Tyler poll, with 42 percent of registered voters backing the former congressman and 39.7 percent supporting the president.

Biden beats Trump by 1.6 points, getting the support of 39.6 percent of registered voters compared with 38 percent for Trump.

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Biden is aided by a roughly 12-point advantage over Trump among Texas independents, while O’Rourke has a roughly 9-point edge over Trump among the same group.

Biden and O’Rourke are also buoyed by Trump’s underwater approval rating in Texas. Just under 40 percent of registered voters approve of the job he’s doing as president while 52.3 percent disapprove.

The UT-Tyler poll also tested head-to-head matchups between the president and other Democratic White House hopefuls including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low MORE (Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed flight Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mt Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenators push foreign media to disclose if they are registered as foreign agents Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP MORE (Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE. None of them beats Trump in the poll. 

The survey is the latest showing at least some Democratic candidates running close to or leading the president in Texas, a longtime conservative stronghold.

Democrats have hoped that changing demographics in the Lone Star State and O’Rourke’s insurgent, but failed, Senate bid last year could expand and energize the party’s base. Democrats are particularly hoping to make inroads in suburbs around Houston and other major cities after the GOP suffered defeats in suburban House districts across the country in last year’s midterms.

Texas has not gone for the Democratic presidential nominee in more than 40 years, but Trump won the state by 9 points in 2016, the closest margin of victory for the GOP candidate in 20 years.

The new UT-Tyler poll surveyed 1,199 registered voters from Sept. 13 to 15 and has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.