Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke tied in 2020 primary poll of Texas Democrats

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Vice President Joe Biden are in a statistical tie among potential Texas Democratic primary voters, a new poll finds.

An Emerson College poll released Monday found Biden at 23 percent in Texas with O’Rourke at 22 percent.

“It looks like Beto O’Rourke does not have Texas locked up,” said Spencer Kimball, director of the Emerson poll.

O’Rourke came close to knocking off U.S. Sen Ted Cruz in 2018, falling short by less than three points. But the expansive Democratic primary field appears to be a challenge to him in his home state.

Bernie Sanders was the only other candidate to poll in double digits, earning 17 percent. Pete Buttigieg was in fourth with 8 percent, Elizabeth Warren was in fifth with 7 percent. The other native Texan candidate, former HUD secretary Julian Castro, was in sixth with 4 percent.

Support for the top three polling candidates is spilt by age group. Texas Democrats aged 18-29 support Sanders the most, with 34 percent. O’Rourke captures voters age 30-49, with 31 percent of that age group. Biden is tops with ages 50-64 (29 percent) and those 65-plus (36 percent).

Biden and O’Rourke are tied among white Texas Democratic voters, with each earning 22 percent. O’Rourke is the top choice of Hispanics, with 32 percent. Biden is the first choice of black voters (40 percent).

Emerson also polled all voters (Democrats, Republicans and independents) to see what a general election matchup would look like in Texas. The poll found Trump in statistical ties with several potential Democratic nominees – Biden (leads Trump by 1), O’Rourke (tied with Trump) and Sanders (down to Trump by 2).

Emerson conducted the poll from April 25-28, with a margin of error of +/-5.3.