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Photo: Spencer Platt/Win McNamee/Getty Images

Eight polls released publicly and rated by FiveThirtyEight since the beginning of June indicate that President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are in a dead heat in Texas, with Biden up by an average of 0.3% with 114 days to go until the election, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The once-Republican stronghold has become more competitive in recent years and is likely to be a presidential swing state in November. A Democratic candidate for president has not won Texas since 1976.

  • Trump took Texas in 2016 with nearly 52% of the vote, according to The New York Times.
  • Hillary Clinton won 43% of the vote, but she was the first Democratic presidential candidate to lose the state by single digits since the 1990s.

Driving the news: A new battleground poll from CBS News/YouGov has President Trump polling at 46% and Biden at 45% in Texas, well within the margin of error.

Go deeper: The demographic shifts that will affect the 2020 election

Go deeper

Oct 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What Trump's debate coaches are telling him

President Trump at the Sept. 29 debate in Ohio. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's team is telling him ahead of Thursday's final debate: Stop interrupting Joe Biden. And try to be more likable.

What to watch: Trump will tell more jokes and try, if he can stay on message, to strike a softer tone. At the same time, aides expect Trump to keep going after Biden's son Hunter.

Updated Oct 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new measures on Monday to mute the microphones of President Trump and Joe Biden to allow each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate.

Why it matters: During September's chaotic debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, while Biden interrupted Trump 22 times.

What early voting can (and can't) tell us about the election

Adapted from TargetSmart. (Battleground states include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.) Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Democratic strategists think the early numbers show a 2020 electorate that's bigger, younger and more diverse than in 2016 — and not just shifting forward votes that would have otherwise arrived on Election Day.

The big picture: Early voting data signals strong Democratic enthusiasm in key battleground states. But strategists in both parties say Republicans could still overtake that advantage with a surge of in-person turnout on Election Day.