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O’Rourke is rising, and a majority say they don’t want a second Trump term, poll shows

Texas Democrat up to 12 percent support in early poll, while 53 percent say ‘no’ to a second Trump term

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, is in the hunt for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke appeared to inch closer to the two Democratic frontrunners for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows.

The Texas Democrat, who lost his bid for Senate to Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterms, received 12 percent support from those surveyed who identified as Democrats or Democratic leaners.

Fifty-three percent of all respondents to the Quinnipiac poll said they would “definitely not vote” for President Donald Trump for a second term.

Pollsters from Quinnipiac University surveyed a random sample of 1,358 voters nationwide by phone between March 21 and March 25. The full sample has a sampling of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. Among the 559 Democrats and Democratic leaners, the margin of error is plus or minus 5.1 percentage points, and among the 582 Republicans and Republican leaners the  margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. 

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Polling numbers this far in advance of the Iowa caucuses tend to be highly volatile, though since O’Rourke announced his presidential campaign earlier this month, he has hovered in third or fourth place along with Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

O’Rourke and Harris — who garnered 8 percent support in the Quinnipiac survery among Democrats and Democratic leaners — have so far trailed former vice president Joseph R. Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the early polling.

[Click here to see profiles for O'Rourke and other 2020 presidential candidates]

To date, Biden’s Real Clear Politics average in national Democratic primary polls is 29.8 percent, followed by Sanders’ 22.6 percent average.

In the Quinnipiac poll released Thursday, Biden received 29 percent support among Democrats and Democratic leaners while Sanders received 19 percent.

“Hungry for a candidate to take on President Donald Trump, Democrats and Democratic leaners put the three B’s, Biden, Bernie and Beto, at the top in a race where age, race and gender take a back seat to electability and shared views,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

(Seventy-six percent of Democrats surveyed for the poll said “electability” in a general election is an important factor for determining which candidate they will vote for in the primaries.)

The president still has the support of his base — 77 percent of Republicans said they would definitely vote for him — and roughly one in five independent voters, the poll found.

“The loyal base stays the course, but 53 percent of all American voters say they’ve had enough and will not vote for President Trump,” Malloy said. 

The first debate for the Democratic primary field will be in June. The Democratic National Committee has announced that it will sponsor 12 debates in all, though that number could change.

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