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 BidenGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Trump says Giuliani is still his lawyer Sondland to tell Congress 'no quid pro quo' from Trump: report MORE have narrow leads over President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China 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 Ann WarrenSanders on difference with Warren: she's a capitalist 'I'm not' Rubio hits Warren's 'crude' and 'vulgar' response to opposition to same-sex marriage Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren MORE (Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders on difference with Warren: she's a capitalist 'I'm not' Sunday Show Preview: Trump's allies and administration defend decision on Syria Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKlobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada MORE (Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSunday Show Preview: Trump's allies and administration defend decision on Syria O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter 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.