NYT's poll: Trump leads Biden by 4 points in Texas

President Trump holds a narrow, 4 percentage point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas, a state the Democratic nominee has become increasingly eager to contest, according to a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College.

The poll shows Trump garnering 47 percent of the vote to Biden’s 43 percent. Trump’s lead is slightly outside the survey's 3.8 percentage point margin of error.

Biden is performing better in Texas among college-educated white voters than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did four years ago, notching 38 percent support to Trump’s 54 percent. Clinton captured just 31 percent of those voters, compared with 62 percent who went for Trump.

But Biden’s support among Latino voters is softer than that of Clinton; the poll shows him with the backing of 57 percent of Hispanics, while Trump’s support matches the 34 percent he earned in 2016.

Among independent voters in the Lone Star State, Trump and Biden are statistically tied. Forty-one percent said they back Trump, with 40 percent supporting Biden. In 2016, Trump carried those voters by a comfortable 14-point margin, according to exit polls.

Democrats are making a late play in Texas as recent polls show a tighter-than-expected race there. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), is slated to visit the state later this week. And on Monday, NextGen America, the outside group founded by billionaire former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, announced it is expanding operations into Texas with a six-figure investment.

A win for Biden in Texas would deal a massive blow to Republicans, who have carried the state in every presidential election since 1980 and currently hold the reins of power there.

While the presidential contest in Texas remains tight, those margins do not translate to the state’s closely watched Senate race. The New York Times-Siena College poll showed Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) leading his Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar 48 percent to 38 percent.

A Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll released over the weekend showed a slightly rosier outlook for Democrats. Biden led Trump in that survey 48 percent to 45 percent, while Cornyn led Hegar by an 8-point margin.

The New York Times-Siena College poll surveyed 802 likely voters in Texas from Oct. 20-25. Most of the interviews were conducted before the final presidential debate last Thursday.

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