Joe Biden narrowly leads Donald Trump in Texas, early returns show. Many historically conservative counties haven’t yet reported.

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Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Dallas on March 2, 2020. Credit: Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

Joe Biden leads early returns in the Texas presidential race as polls showed him in a surprisingly tight race with Donald Trump in a state that has not elected a Democratic presidential candidate statewide for over three decades. A majority of the state’s 191 rural counties — which have historically leaned conservative — are not represented in these returns.

By early Tuesday evening, Biden held a marginal lead over Trump — 50.7% to 48% — based on returns from early voting, Decision Desk data showed. Early returns don’t include votes cast on Election Day itself. Polls suggest that Republicans are more likely to vote in person on Election Day than Democrats.

Biden, speaking to reporters this afternoon in Wilmington, De., after hours of campaigning in Pennsylvania, acknowledged the surprising nature of recent statewide polls that put him in a close race against Trump.