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New Texas Primary Poll: Sanders Has Narrow Edge

Senator Just Ahead of Biden With Likely Democratic Voters

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02/20/2020

Contact: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 (o), 978-758-4664 (c), or Christine_Gillette@uml.edu or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has the most support among likely voters in the Texas Democratic primary, according to a new poll released today. 

Sanders is in first place with the support of 23 percent of likely voters, followed closely by former Vice President Joe Biden with 20 percent and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 18 percent. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has 14 percent, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is at 9 percent, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 7 percent, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has 4 percent and businessman Tom Steyer has 2 percent; 3 percent of likely voters are undecided. 

Detailed poll results – including candidates’ support by age and other categories, along with topline and methodology – are available at www.uml.edu/polls. The nonpartisan poll is independently funded by the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, which conducts public-opinion polling at the state and national levels. The internationally recognized center uses the latest technology and highest standards in its surveys and is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative. The center’s events and polls on political and social issues provide unique opportunities for civic engagement, experiential learning and research.  

With the Texas primary on Super Tuesday less than two weeks away, 33 percent of likely voters said they could still change their minds compared to 67 percent who said they are firm in their support of their chosen candidate. Eighty-one percent of Sanders supporters say they will definitely vote for him. This is 13 points higher than the vote certainty for Biden and Bloomberg, who are tied at 68 percent. Buttigieg is at 55 percent and Warren and Klobuchar are both at 51 percent. 

Among likely voters, Sanders is supported by the largest percentage (40 percent) of those younger than 45, compared with only 16 percent who favor Biden and 3 percent who support Bloomberg. Warren is second to Sanders with 21 percent of voters younger than 45, but only gets 11 percent of the 45 and older age group, compared to 25 percent for Bloomberg, 22 percent for Biden and 14 percent for Sanders.

“Sanders enjoys a small lead in Texas over Joe Biden, in part, because Bloomberg seems to be cutting into his voter base. For all the talk of ideological lanes in the electorate, the most clear divide in Texas is that younger voters support Sanders and Warren and older voters support Biden and Bloomberg,” said Joshua Dyck, director of the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and associate professor of political science.


The poll also asked likely voters in the Texas Democratic primary which candidate will ultimately win the party’s nomination. Thirty-three percent said Sanders, followed by Biden with 17 percent and Bloomberg with 16 percent. However, 21 percent of voters surveyed said they are unsure.

Likely voters were also asked whether they view the candidates favorably or unfavorably. Warren has the highest net favorability rating of +48, followed by Sanders with a net +42 favorability rating and Biden with a net +36 favorability rating. However, for some candidates, the percentage of likely voters who either have no opinion or have never heard of them is quite high, according to the analysis by the Center for Public Opinion. For Steyer, the no opinion/never heard of percentage is 49 percent, followed by Klobuchar at 34 percent, and 23 percent for Bloomberg, who has the worst net favorability ratings of any of the candidates at +17. To offer some perspective, former President Barack Obama has a +78 net favorability rating and President Trump has -81 net favorability rating among the likely voters polled.     

The poll of 600 likely voters in the Texas Democratic primary was independently funded by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which has more than 1,000 students and alumni who hail from the Lone Star State. The survey was designed and analyzed by the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and fielded by YouGov from Feb. 12 through Feb. 18. It has an adjusted margin of error of plus or minus 5.9 percent. Full poll methodology is available at ww.uml.edu/polls.


In addition to the survey of likely voters in Texas, the Center for Public Opinion also released polls in two other Super Tuesday states. The findings include: 
• In Minnesota, Klobuchar is ahead with the support of 27 percent of likely voters, followed by Sanders at 21 percent, Warren at 16 percent, Buttigieg at 10 percent, Biden and Bloomberg tied at 9 percent. Gabbard at 4 percent and Steyer with less than 1 percent support, with 4 percent undecided. (Poll of 450 likely Minnesota Democratic primary conducted Feb. 12 through Feb. 19 with an adjusted margin of error of plus or minus 6.4 percent.)
• In North Carolina, Sanders has the edge with likely voters with 23 percent, followed by Bloomberg at 19 percent, Biden at 16 percent, Warren at 13 percent, Buttigieg at 10 percent, Klobuchar at 7 percent and Gabbard and Steyer tied at 3 percent, with 6 percent undecided. (Poll of 450 likely voters in North Carolina Democratic primary conducted Feb. 12 through Feb. 18 with an adjusted margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percent.)

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