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Ahead of Trump's 16th visit to Texas, yet another poll shows he trails Biden

The Dallas Morning News — By Todd J. Gillman The Dallas Morning News

July 28-- WASHINGTON-Another day, another poll showing that Texas is up for grabs despite President Donald Trump's bluster.

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads 47% to 45%, with only one in 20 voters still undecided, in a Morning Consult poll released Monday night.

A raft of recent polls have found a dead heat, with the candidates within a point or two, and Trump returns to Texas on Thursday for the 16th visit of his presidency – an investment of time that would be out of proportion if Texas were as safely in his column as he professes.

In Odessa, he will meet with campaign donors before heading to Midland to inspect an oil rig at Double Eagle Energy and give a speech about energy policy.

A Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll released July 12 showed Biden leading by 5 percentage points.

"We're many points up in Texas," Trump said the next day. "Fake news. Phony polls."

A CBS/YouGov poll from the same weekend found a statistical tie, with Trump leading 46% to 45%-still far worse than any polls in the final months of the 2016 campaign.

A Quinnipiac University poll released July 22 showed Biden leading 45% to 44%. The same poll from early June had Trump leading by 1 point.

With his campaign foundering and national and battleground state polls showing an increasingly difficult path to a second term, Trump demoted campaign manager Brad Parscale this month.

The replacement, Bill Stepien, insisted Friday that Biden has no chance in Texas, a state Republicans cannot win the White House without.

"I would invite the Biden campaign to play in Texas," Stepien told reports in a state-of-the-race briefing. "They should go after Texas really, really heavily-you know, spend a lot of money in the Houston and Dallas media markets."

Biden started running ads in Texas about two weeks ago, a one-minute spot urging Texans to wear masks and noting that "people are frightened" as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

At the time, the Trump campaign called the outreach to Texas a "pipe dream."

Trump's last visit to Texas was only last month: a June 11 campaign-style event on police and race relations at a North Dallas church.

His 9-point margin over Hillary Clinton in Texas 2016 was the worst showing by a GOP nominee for president since 1976, when President Gerald Ford lost Texas and Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter ousted him from the White House.

Texas Democrats accused Stepien of "false bravado" belied by polls showing that "Biden is going to beat Trump in Texas."

Morning Consult Political Intelligence surveyed about 2,600 likely voters in Texas from July 17 to July 26. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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