Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are tied as the top two choices of “likely Democratic primary voters,” according to a new Univ. of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs survey (PDF). Biden (22.5%) and Sanders (22.1%) are followed by Elizabeth Warren (18%), Michael Bloomberg (13%), Pete Buttigieg (12%) and Amy Klobuchar (7%).
Sanders was the top choice for 30% of Hispanic/Latino respondents, his best showing among any ethnic group. Biden was the top choice of 46% of African Americans, more than triple the support of any other candidate. Anglo voters were closely divided among Warren (21%), Sanders (21%), Buttigieg (16%), Biden (15%), Bloomberg (13%) and Klobuchar (11%).
Unsurprisingly, Sanders fared best among voters born after 1996 with 44%, more than double Buttigieg’s 21%. Biden (31%) and Bloomberg (26%) fared the best among voters born before 1946.
Sanders fared best in the Border region with 29% but trailed Biden (33%) there. That Sanders is under 30% in the Border region is probably good news for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who is facing a Sanders-endorsed progressive primary challenger. Sanders received 25% of the vote head-to-head against Hillary Clinton in CD28 in the 2016 primary.
The survey of 1,352 YouGov respondents was in the field February 6-18 and has a stated confidence interval of ±2.7% for the full sample and higher numbers for subsets.
Early voting for the March 3 primary election continues through Friday.
Turnout continues to be brisk for a primary election but dwarfed by a general election. Measured by the number of voters, Republican turnout in the 15 counties with the most registered voters continues to set a record pace. Through six days, 228K have voted in the Republican primary in person or by mail in those counties, eclipsing the 2016 mark of 218K. Record turnout through six days has occurred in Harris, Bexar, Travis, Denton, Fort Bend, Hidalgo, Montgomery and Galveston Cos. The number of Republican votes cast in Fort Bend Co. is more than double the number cast in 2016 and 76% above the previous record set in 2012.
Through six days, 280K Democrats have voted in person or by mail, the second-highest six-day total in state history. Democratic turnout is 59% ahead of the 2016 pace but 22% behind the 2008 record. Denton and Williamson Cos. have seen record turnout for the Democratic primary.
Statewide Republican turnout is 2.9% of registered voters. Statewide Democratic turnout is 2.3%. Both figures are an order of magnitude below the roughly 26% of registered voters who had already cast ballots in the 2016 general election through six days of early voting.
Campaign Finance: State candidates with primary opponents are required to file their 8-day-out reports today (Monday). These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between January 24 and February 22. We expect these reports to be made available online tomorrow (Tuesday), and we will update our Crib Sheets and analyze key race data during the day. We’ll focus on our three-, four- and five-star rated races first, then proceed through the remaining contested races.
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