AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new Quinnipiac University poll shows a narrow lead for President Trump in Texas in the likely general election matchup with former Vice President Joe Biden.
The poll, published Wednesday, found 44% of respondents supported Trump while 43% support Biden. Biden led 45-36% among independent voters.
“Too tight to tell in Texas. As the country confronts chaos and COVID-19, perhaps one of the most important states of all is a toss-up,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said in a statement.
Sen. John Cornyn received a 37% approval rating in the poll, compared to 41% in Sept. 2019. Sen. Ted Cruz, on the other hand, received a 45% approval rating.
Cornyn will face the Democratic primary run-off winner of MJ Hegar or State Sen. Royce West in November.
MJ Hegar and Texas State Sen. Royce West will participate in a debate on KXAN at 6 p.m. CDT June 6, ahead of the July 14 run-off election.
Manny Garcia, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, said recent polls prove that Texas is the “biggest battleground state in the country.”
“Voters are increasingly entrusting Democratic leaders with the future of their communities,” Garcia said. “Republicans have proven utterly incapable of managing times of crisis, and that has hurt them up and down the ballot.”
James Dickey, chair of the Republican Party of Texas, doesn’t believe recent polling matches reality. He said the party’s effort to register 100,000 new voters will lead to victories at every level.
“I think when the time comes and when Joe Biden is let out of his basement and has to face President Trump one-on-one in a debate, I think the contrast is going to be so striking,” Dickey said.
Polls are reflective of moments in time and don’t necessarily indicate what will play out on election day, according to Texas Politics Project Director Jim Henson. But Henson said recent polling has been consistent.
“The state is getting more competitive and that is showing up in polling and has been for the last 18 months, at least,” Henson said.
The Texas Democratic Party is currently hosting its virtual state convention which party leaders say has drawn more than 100,000 viewers and is the largest in the country.
Biden and former congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, are among speakers scheduled to attend the virtual convention.
“You have a president that makes it easier for us every single day,” O’Rourke told KXAN. “His mishandling of the health crisis and the economy shows that there’s an opening for an alternative in Texas.”
The Republican Party of Texas convention is scheduled next month in Houston. Dickey said the party has nearly surpassed its goal of registering 100,000 voters before November.