Bernie Sanders, Now Leading In Texas Polls, Plans Rally In Mesquite

Alan Scaia
February 14, 2020 - 6:50 am
Bernie Sanders

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MESQUITE (1080 KRLD) - Bernie Sanders will speak at a rally in Mesquite Friday night. Early voting in the Texas primaries begins Tuesday, with the primary itself March 3.

Sanders plans to attend two rallies in North Carolina earlier Friday. Doors open at Mesquite Arena at 6 p.m.; Sanders is scheduled to take the stage at 8.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Thursday showed Sanders now leads Democratic hopefuls. The poll showed Sanders with 24% support in Texas. Joe Biden was second with 22%, and Elizabeth Warren was third with 15%.

The same poll in October showed Sanders with 12%.

Trey Arnold, the political director for the Dallas County Democratic Party, says Democratic candidates are spending more time in Texas because early voting and an earlier primary have made the state more relevant to the nominating process. He also expects Texas to be more competitive in the general election.

"We see the stamp that Beto did as far as getting out and showing it could be done," he says. "I think a lot of these presidential candidates want to get out, be seen and gauge support because it could happen."

In 2018, Beto O'Rourke ran against Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz won reelection but by a margin of just 200,000 votes, 50.9% to 48.3%. In 2012, Cruz beat Democrat Paul Sadler by almost 1.3 million votes.

"I think this is a change in time. Texas primarily, in the past, has been a red state but is turning blue," Arnold says.

Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, Arnold says he hopes additional interest from candidates in Texas will drive more people to vote.

"That's why a lot of these candidates are coming through the state. They want to be seen, and they want people to know who they are," he says.

No Democrat has won Texas' electoral votes since Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 2016, Donald Trump won Texas, defeating Hillary Clinton 52% to 43%. In 2012, Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in Texas, 57% to 41%.