(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)
Texas poll a warning sign for Biden
Joe Biden’s Southern-focused primary strategy may be in danger, with a new poll of Texas Democrats showing his lead narrowing to rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
According to a survey released by Texas Lyceum, the former vice president leads the rest of the Democratic pack with 28% support. Sanders, however, is right behind him at 26%.
The rest of the field had half of Sanders’s support or lower, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in third place at 13%. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came in fourth at 9%.
Those numbers will certainly set off alarm bells for Biden, whose path to victory relies on running up large delegate counts in the South. Poised for early losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden has been telling supporters and donors that the South remains his firewall.
The last reputable poll of Texas conducted in December by CNN found Sanders with 15% of the vote — behind Biden at 35%.
On March 3, Super Tuesday, when Texas holds its primary, the map is nearly evenly split between Northern and Southern states. The demographics of states like Minnesota and Colorado, with heavy pockets of urban liberals, favor a candidate like Sanders. But states with large black populations, such as Alabama and Virginia, are slated to go for Biden.
A principle reason former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was able to fend off Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary was her ability to win by double digits in the South. That cycle, Clinton earned 65.19% of the vote to Sanders’s 33.19% of the vote.
Should Sanders and Biden split Texas’s 228 pledged delegates, Biden would be forced to try and compete more competitively in states such as Maine, which Sanders won handily in 2016.
On Tuesday, Sanders announced a $2.5 million TV campaign in California and Texas, his first major expenditure in Super Tuesday states. The day before, Sanders announced a Spanish ad campaign in Nevada in an effort to shore up Hispanic support.
Sanders, a Brooklyn native, has also started a campaign to win the New York primary, with an email to supporters sent Wednesday titled “The race to win New York.”
“There are 274 delegates up for grabs there on April 28,” the email reads. “And as a supporter of Bernie’s campaign, you’ve done more than most to help us win.”
In 2016, Clinton, a former New York senator, won the state’s primary by nearly 16 points, with 57.54% of the vote.
Although Texas Lyceum found that both Biden and Sanders lost to President Trump in a hypothetical match up, Sanders was 1 percentage point stronger than Biden, at 47% support. Those numbers will undoubtedly be used to strengthen Sanders’s argument that he is actually the more electable candidate in the field.
The firm asked 1,200 adults from Jan. 10-19 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.83 points.