Bolstered by independent voters, Bernie Sanders has pulled to within two points of Hillary Clinton in California, with support from younger voters and men compared to Clinton’s lead among older voters and women, according to the Public Policy Institute of California’s most recent poll.
While Clinton leads 49-41% among registered Democrats, the race overall stands Clinton 46% and Sanders 44% among all voters likely to vote in the June 7 Democratic primary, PPIC said. The institute did not report results among independents. But for Clinton’s margin to be just 2 percentage points, as PPIC asserted, Sanders would have to be killing her among independents, who comprise only about a quarter of the primary vote.
Democrats allow independents to vote in their presidential primary, Republicans allow only those registered with the GOP.
“Asked if they would vote for Trump or someone else, most Republican primary likely voters (67%) choose Trump, while 26 percent say they would vote for someone else. Men (72%) are more likely than women (62%) to say they would vote for Trump,” PPIC reported.
In the Democratic primary race, voters age 45 and older support Clinton 59-28%, while younger voters favor Sanders 66-27%. Men prefer Sanders 46-42% while women favor Clinton 49-42%.
Crosswise with Crosstabs According to PPIC’s data, Cinton leads Sanders 52-43% among Latinos and 47-41% among whites. “Others” are not reported, apparently because there were not enough of them in the sample for a statistically reliable number. Which led the Calbuzz Green Eye Shade and Abacus Department to wonder: How could Clinton be leading by 9 points among Latinos and 6 points among whites and yet by only 2 points overall?
After a long conversation with Dean Bonner, the associate survey director at PPIC, we remain unconvinced. Bonner said Sanders led among “others” by 8 points, which altered the overall results. But since “others” includes blacks, among whom Clinton has consistently creamed Sanders, something still didn’t make sense.
So we spoke with Mark Baldassare, PPIC’s Big Kahuna, who said his survey had found that Sanders is leading Clinton among non-Latino, non-whites 50-42% and that this explains how the race could be so close. “These are the numbers we have,” Baldassare said. “Is it surprising? Yes.”
Our Calbuzz bean counters don’t doubt that the Democratic presidential contest in California is close. Whether the PPIC poll explains why is less certain.
BTW, in a general election match-up, PPIC said, “Among Democratic primary likely voters, 85 percent of those who support Clinton in the primary would vote for Sanders against Trump in the fall, while 75 percent of Sanders supporters would choose Clinton over Trump.
A few other findings, lifted straight from PPIC’s release:
— In the race to replace retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, nearly a third of likely voters (31%) remain undecided less than a month before the primary. Among the candidates, Democrat Kamala Harris leads with the support of 27 percent of likely voters. Democratic U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez has the support of 19 percent in a race in which the two candidates with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to the November election.
They are followed by Republicans Tom Del Beccaro (8%), Ron Unz (6%), and Duf Sundheim (3%). Among Democratic likely voters, Harris leads Sanchez (43% to 32%), with 19 percent undecided. Among Republicans, nearly half (46%) are undecided, as are 35 percent of independents. Latino voters are most likely to support Sanchez (48%), though 19 percent favor Harris. White voters are the most likely to be undecided (36%) or support Harris (24%).
If Harris and Sanchez advance to the November election, 34 percent of likely voters say they would vote for Harris and 26 percent would vote for Sanchez (24% volunteer that they would not vote and 15% are undecided). Just under half of Democrats (46%) would vote for Harris, while half of Republicans (51%) say they would not vote. Latinos support Sanchez over Harris. Whites support Harris over Sanchez, with nearly a third saying they would not vote.
No word yet on what effect the embarrassingly sycophantic profile of Queen Kamala (who immediately tweeted a link with “thanks” – ! – for the piece to NY Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon, who ought to be ashamed of herself) will play in the race. No doubt young Emily has a similar display of fluffy hagiography on Loretta Sanchez in the works.
— Half of Californians (49%) have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while only 23 percent have a favorable view of the Republican Party.
— A strong majority of likely voters (65%) oppose building a wall along the entire border with Mexico, as Trump has promised to do. There is a stark partisan divide: 86 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of independents oppose building a wall, while 59 percent of Republicans favor it. Asked whether or not undocumented immigrants living in the United States should be allowed to stay legally, 75 percent of likely voters favor allowing them to stay. Majorities across parties say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay.