Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is within striking distance of President Donald Trump in Texas, tied with him in Georgia and narrowly ahead in Iowa, according to new surveys of the three Republican-leaning battlegrounds.
A New York Times/Siena College poll published Thursday, 40 days from Election Day, shows Trump with a small lead of 3 percentage points in Texas, with 46 percent of likely voters surveyed supporting the Republican incumbent and 43 percent favoring the former vice president.
Trump comfortably won Texas in 2016, seizing the state’s 38 electoral votes — the second-biggest Electoral College prize — by 9.2 percentage points. Texas has not been carried by a Democratic presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
The Times/Siena poll also reports that Biden and Trump are tied in Georgia, with 45 percentage points each among likely voters surveyed, and that Biden holds a 3-point advantage over Trump among likely voters polled in Iowa, 45-42 percent.
Trump won Georgia’s 16 electoral votes by 5.7 percentage points in 2016. Republican presidential candidates have carried Georgia in every election since 1992, when Democrat Bill Clinton was victorious there.
Iowa is less reliably Republican, supporting a Democratic presidential nominee as recently as 2012 in Barack Obama’s reelection race. But Trump won the state’s six electoral votes by 9.6 percentage points in 2016.
The Senate races in the three states, which all feature vulnerable Republican incumbents, are similarly competitive, the Times/Siena poll shows. Any one of the contests could determine whether Democrats retake control of the chamber.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn holds a lead of 6 percentage points over Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar, 43-37 percent. Georgia Sen. David Perdue leads Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff by 3 points, 41-38 percent. And Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst trails Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield by 2 points, 40-42 percent.
The Times/Siena poll was conducted Sept. 16-22, surveying 523 Georgia likely voters, 501 Iowa likely voters and 653 Texas likely voters. The margin of sampling error is plus-or-minus 4.9 percentage points in Georgia, 4.99 points in Iowa and 4.3 points in Texas.