2020 poll watch
A poll Sunday from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden beating President Trump by 3 percentage points among likely Texas voters, 48 percent to 45 percent. "That's within the margin of error, but it's also a 5-point reversal from the last such poll in early September," the Morning News reports.
This poll may very well be an outlier, but not by much. Trump and Biden are tied in FiveThirtyEight's Texas polling average.
"I suppose I'd note here that our forecast still has Trump favored in Texas, in part because it has strict voting laws (one of the few states without no-excuse absentee voting)," FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver adds, "but Biden's chances there (38 percent) are the highest they've been all cycle." Turnout is high, so far. As of Saturday, 7.2 million Texans had voted, 42.4 percent of the state's registered voters, The Texas Tribune reports. That matches the 2016 early vote count, and Texans have five days left to cast their ballots before Election Day.
If Biden pulled off a win in Texas, Trump would have essentially no path to victory. Still, Trump isn't going to visit the Lone Star State before the election because "he's going to be in battleground states," former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), Trump first energy secretary, told the Morning News. "Texas is not a battleground state, it's that simple," and a Biden victory is a Democratic "pipe dream." It's not clear how seriously the Biden campaign is taking Texas — not seriously enough, according to Texas Democrats — but vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is paying a visit Friday.
The Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler poll was conducted Oct. 13-20 among 1,012 registered Texas voters, including 924 "extremely likely" voters. The poll's margin of error for the likely voters is ± 3.22 percentage points.