"We're going to beat him in Texas."
That's what Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted about President Donald Trump on Saturday night as results came in from the Nevada caucuses.
Sanders had a resounding victory in the state after having won New Hampshire's primary and just about tying in Iowa with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, although results for that state's caucuses are still in question.
While he does lead the polls for Democratic candidates in Texas, Sanders would not win in the state if pitted against Trump, a poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune released on Feb. 14 found.
Sanders would lose to the president by 2 percentage points, 45% to Trump's 47%. That is, however, within the poll’s margin of error of ± 2.83 percentage points.
Sanders did have the highest level of support of all the Democratic candidates in a hypothetical race against Trump, according to the poll.
Sanders visited Texas on Saturday as the caucuses were underway in Nevada, first stopping in El Paso before continuing on to San Antonio.
He addressed about 1,500 supporters in El Paso as Nevada's results came in and then later on celebrated his victory in San Antonio.
“We’re going to win this election. Early voting is already underway in Texas, one of the Super Tuesday states holding contests March 3," he told the crowd in San Antonio.
More than 5,700 people attended that rally, according to campaign officials.
Volunteers at the rally told KENS 5 they have been going door to door to get out the vote, adding that Texas has the potential to be a swing state in this year's elections—which is why candidates are looking to big cities in the Lone Star State to win over supporters.
"You can't deny the Latino population here in San Antonio," said Eric Rodriguez of the Texas Organizing Project. "I think that's something that Bernie has been consistent on reaching out to, all across the country."
Sanders has a powerful base of loyal supporters, but he has struggled to attract moderates and independents who he will need to win, in part because Sanders describes himself as a Democratic Socialist.
He addressed that dilemma within his campaign during a one-on-one interview with Inside Texas Politics last week.
Sanders’ campaign has said it will have five Texas campaign offices-- one each in Austin, Dallas, Houston, McAllen and San Antonio. The campaign also said it is going to spend more than $5 million dollars on an ad campaign across Texas and other Super Tuesday states.
Sanders plans to hold a rally in Austin on Sunday at 5 p.m. as he continues to campaign.
More on the 2020 presidential race:
- 2016 again? Russia back to stirring chaos in U.S. election
- US officials briefed Bernie Sanders on Russia trying to help his campaign
- Feisty Las Vegas debate reaches nearly 20 million viewers, biggest audience ever for a Democratic debate
- On the first day of early voting in North Texas, Democrats see jump in participation from 2016
- If you live in Texas, a presidential candidate is trying to reach you
- Waking the sleeping giant: Texas group aims to increase voter turnout in Latino community