In Texas, most Black voters so far are backing Biden.


A University of Houston poll released this week shows Joe Biden’s overwhelming strength with Black Democrats in the Lone Star State. 

In the survey of likely Democratic primary voters, 46 percent of Black respondents picked the former vice president as their preferred choice for the nomination.

That’s head and shoulders above any other candidate in Texas, including the race’s front-runner, Sen. Bernie Sanders who is at 15 percent among Black Democrats in Texas, and ahead of Mike Bloomberg with 17 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 13 percent. 

Biden is set to visit Dallas and Houston on Monday, according to his campaign, a day before Election Day in March 3.

Biden’s strength among Black voters in Texas, and throughout the country, has held strong and steady throughout most of the race. But one Morning Consult poll conducted the day after the Nevada caucus shows Sanders leading the field nationally among Black voters for the first time since the start of the race. An Ipsos/Reuters poll conducted before Nevada caucus showed a similar result.

Signs of Biden’s possible decline in support among Black voters can most likely be attributed to his performance in the race so far, Carroll Robinson, chair of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, told the Signal.

“For a lot of Democrats what’s motivating is this notion of electability,” Robinson said. “And at the beginning of the campaign it didn’t matter what Joe Biden’s positions were on polices, folks– including Black folks– just had a general perception that he was the more electable candidate for whatever reason.” 

“That perception has started to change some because of actual voter results, but I’m not seeing people making a decision on the nuance of [a candidate’s] position on gun control or position on healthcare,” Robinson added.

Very telling will be what happens this Saturday in South Carolina, where more than a quarter of residents are Black. South Carolina will be the first real test for how Black voters are responding to presidential candidates. 

Aggregate polling in South Carolina shows respondents supporting Biden by roughly 10 percentage points more than Sanders, suggesting the state could be critical to Biden reenergizing his campaign.

In Texas, Biden and Sanders are tied for first among likely Democratic primary voters.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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