New Field Poll Shows Bernie Gaining on Clinton in Delegate-Rich California

On Friday, April 8, a new Field Poll revealed that, similar to the current Republican race for the presidential nomination, California’s Democratic primary is becoming increasingly competitive.

In January, Hillary Clinton was confidently leading Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic voters by 11 percentage points. This margin has been reduced to only six points: 47 percent now back Clinton, with 41 percent backing Sanders, and 12 percent are undecided.

Clinton now trails Sanders by 10 points among independent voters.

Although Clinton is still in the lead on the surface, Sanders is showing wide popularity in some areas underneath. According to the poll, he leads Clinton by 25 percentage points among voters in their 30s, and even more among younger voters. In addition, Clinton now trails Sanders by 10 points among independent voters.

California’s Latino population was originally thought to be largely in support of Clinton, a segment that would be an easy win for her. Director of the Field Poll, Mark DiCamillo, said during the initial stages of the campaign, “Latinos would be a traditionally strong segment for Hillary, she’d have it in her back pocket.”

Back in October, the polls showed 52 to 22 percent of Latino voters supporting Clinton over Sanders, a difference of 30 percentage points. The April 8 poll, however, shows a sharp decrease in her popularity there. She still leads Sanders, but only by 7 points, 49 percent to 42 percent.

Clinton still has a strong foothold in other areas. The race is nearly neck and neck in Northern California, where Clinton leads by just 3 percentage points. But Southern California still largely supports her  — the majority of Democratic voters in the Central Valley and Los Angeles favor Clinton. Plus, Clinton leads Sanders 53 to 36 percent among women voters.

With the June 7 primary looming near, the next two months will be crucial in telling which direction the votes will go.

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