Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the Lone Star State by a decent margin. But recent drop outs in the fast-moving presidential primary could make former Vice President Joe Biden more competitive going into Super Tuesday.
On Sunday, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and billionaire Tom Steyer ended their bid for president. Sen. Amy Klobuchar followed suit the next day.
Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar are visiting Texas today to endorse Biden at an evening rally in Dallas. Earlier today, Biden held a rally in Houston as well.
For most of the race, the former vice president has led Sanders in Texas polling. That began to change this month after results from early voting states, most of which Sanders won or performed well in, began to trickle in.
Then, after a strong first-place finish in South Carolina where Sanders placed a distant second, Biden began to climb in national polling and has significantly narrowed the gap between Sanders to less than double digits in that polling.
A survey of likely Democratic primary voters in Texas by NBC News-Marist released Sunday shows Sanders with 34 percent of support in the state, about 15 percentage points ahead of Biden who is at 19 percent. Another poll by Emerson College released Monday shows a closer race, with Sanders ahead of Biden by only five percentage points.
With the race thinning out after the exit of some of its moderate candidates, other leading contenders appear better suited to reach the 15 percent threshold required to win delegates in the Texas primary. Both Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren appear to be comfortably at or near that threshold.
Photos: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images and ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org