Sanders jumps to first among Dems in Texas, Trump still leads top contenders: poll

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe battle of two Cubas Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Ro Khanna Democrats gear up to hit GOP senators on DACA MORE's (I-Vt.) surge in the Democratic presidential primary race has continued into the Lone Star State, with a new University of Texas–Texas Tribune poll showing the Vermont senator atop the Democratic pack.

Sanders received 24 percent of the vote from potential Democratic primary voters, a jump from 12 percent in the same poll in October. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign launches Asian Pacific Americans coalition Biden: 'More than one African American woman' being considered for VP Liberal group asks Klobuchar to remove herself from VP consideration because of prosecutorial record MORE, the October leader in the poll, was in second place with 22 percent of the vote, which falls inside the margin of error, and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: Trump ratchets up Twitter turmoil Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues Warren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in MORE (D-Mass.) remained in third place with 15 percent.

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned .7 billion expected to be spent in 2020 campaign despite coronavirus: report MORE was the only other hopeful polling in double digits with 10 percent.


“Most of the movement has been Sanders and Bloomberg, with Biden [holding] still,” noted Joshua Blank, research director for the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “To be unable to increase his vote share is pretty telling for Biden.”

Biden struggled in both Iowa and New Hampshire, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. 

The poll also looked at how the candidates would fare in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE.

While 52 percent of respondents said that they wouldn't vote to reelect Trump, the president still edged all of the Democratic candidates head-to-head.

Sanders had the closest match-up with the president, losing 47-45, which is within the poll's overall margin of error.


"The Trump trial ballots confirm what we’ve seen, that Trump is winning, but he clearly is under-performing, given the party profile in the state," Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll, said. "It is interesting when you put a flesh and blood Democrat up there, it drops that number, but here’s a Republican in a Republican state who’s not at 50 percent, which is a sign of weakness."

Texas's primary takes place on Super Tuesday on March 3, though early voting for the primary starts Tuesday.

The poll surveyed 1,200 registered voters from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9. The overall margin of error was plus or minus 2.83 percentage points, while the margin of error the Democratic trial ballots was plus or minus 4.09 percentage points.