Speed Reads

2020 watch

Texas is now a 2020 swing state

Every presidential candidate in 2020 will need to campaign hard in toss-up states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania ... and Texas?

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed that Texas is surprisingly competitive for Democratic candidates eyeing the White House. President Trump is essentially tied in hypothetical matchups with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas). O'Rourke and Biden have not announced bids for the presidency.

The University of Virginia's Center for Politics says that Texas, along with Georgia and North Carolina, "may be becoming less reliably Republican." The analysis says Texas "leans Republican" — as do notorious swing states like Iowa and North Carolina — and lists it among states that might be the best targets for Democrats looking to win over historically red regions of the country.

But O'Rourke is also neck-in-neck with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a conspicuous detail considering the Democrat on Wednesday announced that he had ruled out a Senate run. Quinnipiac's poll showed that Texas voters are split on O'Rourke — 44 percent have a favorable opinion of him, while 40 percent have a negative opinion.

Quinnipiac polled 1,222 Texas voters, reaching them by phone between Feb. 20-25. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points.