4

Biden Leads O’Rourke, Texas Dems Haven’t Decided in Senate Race, Poll Says

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke trails Joe Biden in a new Texas presidential poll.
Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke trails Joe Biden in a new Texas presidential poll.
Brian Maschino
^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Native son Beto O'Rourke has plenty of catching up to do if he hopes to win his home state's Democratic presidential primary, according to a new poll from Emerson College and The Dallas Morning News. Texas' Democrats would prefer O'Rourke ran for U.S. Senate against John Cornyn rather than president, and have yet to make up their minds in that race, according to the survey.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents to the poll, which has a margin of error of 4.9%, said former vice president Joe Biden was their first choice to represent Democrats in November 2020 against President Donald Trump. O'Rourke received 19% support, with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounding out the top five in the poll. The other Texan in the race, former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, received only 1.6% support.

The new poll — conducted, it should be noted, Aug. 1-3, the day of the El Paso Walmart shooting — continues a trend for O'Rourke, who's struggled to find his polling footing since the initial bump he received after launching his campaign in March. Earlier this summer, Rice University political scientist Mark Jones told the Observer that O'Rourke was struggling to find the moderate voice that buoyed him to within three points of Sen. Ted Cruz in their 2018 Senate race.

"A lot of the things that made Beto an attractive candidate against Ted Cruz in 2018, he's discarding by the side of the road as he travels through Iowa and New Hampshire," Jones said. "The idea of being pragmatic and a centrist — the vote on the 'Thin Blue Line Act,' 'I was wrong, I shouldn't have voted with the police,' his position on pipelines, 'I was wrong, I shouldn't have voted with the energy industry.' He's renouncing all the policies that made him a credible centrist for positions on the left. I think the Beto magic is probably gone."

More than half of self-identified Democrats polled for the survey, 51%, think O'Rourke should be running against Cornyn, rather than trying to stand out among nearly two dozen Democratic candidates for president.

Among Democrats surveyed, more than 51% said they were undecided about whom they planned to support for Senate. Former U.S. House candidate MJ Hegar picked up almost 10% support, topping Royce West (8%), Chris Bell (7%) and Amanda Edwards (5%), the three other candidates in the race so far. Nineteen percent of Democrats participating in the poll said they preferred "someone else."

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.