January 29, 2020

Bernie Backers Double in Texas in New Texas Survey
that Shows No Democrats on U.S. Senate Race Rise

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor

A new Texas Lyceum poll found the Bernie Sanders stock soaring among Democratic voters in the nation's most crucial battleground state where none of a dozen Democrats appear to have any traction in a crowded field of U.S. Senate contenders less than five weeks before the Super Tuesday primary election.

The latest Texas voter survey shows President Donald Trump pulling slightly ahead of potential rival party challengers who'd been running relatively even with him here last year.

The Texas Lyceum poll that was conducted over a span of nine days this month has Joe Biden at the top of the pack of Democratic candidates in the 2020 White House competition with 28 percent support in the Lone Star State. The former vice-president had been favored by 24 percent in the last Texas poll that the group of business and political leaders had taken here in August.

But Sanders had twice as much support in the latest Texas Lyceum poll with a thumbs up from 26 percent of the Texans who participated in the telephone survey that ended on January 19. After trailing U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts by 2 percentage points last summer, the independent Senate member from Vermont had double the amount of support that she had with 13 percent of the Democratic voters in Texas in her corner.

The new Texas Lyceum poll showed Trump up on Biden by 5 points with 51 percent support. But Trump dipped to 50 percent in a hypothetical fall pairing with Sanders who the incumbent led here by only 3 points. Trump led Warren and Buttigieg by 7 points and 8 points respectively in potential general election duels that the group sought to gauge here this month.

The first Texas Lyceum poll in 2020 gives the impression that the Democratic competition for the job that Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn is seeking again has been unfolding off the radar screens in a state where more than a third of the voters who were contacted didn't know who they might back in the second contest on the ballot here this year. Forty-two percent of the Democrats in the new survey sample declined to express a preference for any one of the 12 U.S. Senate candidates who were listed as choices.

Former congressional nominee MJ Hegar of Georgetown continued to hold a narrow lead over State Senator Royce West of Dallas as U.S. Senate hopefuls who were favored by 11 percent and 8 percent of the Democratic voters who weighed in on the Texas Lyceum poll in January.

But Democratic organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez of Austin and Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards were close behind with 7 percent and 6 percent respectively in the battle for a shot at Cornyn in November. Four other Democrats including former congressman and gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell were lumped in a pack of U.S. Senate contenders with 5 percent.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was fourth in the new Texas Lyceum survey with 9 percent support as a presidential aspirant who hadn't been a candidate until recently. Democrat Pete Buttigieg of Indiana was fifth with 6 percent after polling half that amount five months ago.

The Texas Lyceum poll could come as a shock for Biden fans less than two months after he'd had a 20-point lead over Sanders here with 35 percent support in a CNN survey.


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