A Field Poll released Friday shows that Bernie Sanders is closing the gap with Hillary Clinton in California. In early January the same poll showed Sanders trailing Clinton by 11 points, now the gap is down to 6 points with two months left to go until the primary. As this table from the Field Poll press release shows, Sanders was 57 points behind Clinton last May (with others still in the race):
The division of the electorate in California is similar to what we’ve seen in other states. Sanders has a truly massive lead with younger voters, beating Hillary 77-18 among those aged 18-29. Hillary has an advantage among the elderly, winning the 65 and up category 64-23. There is also a clear gender gap with Hillary holding a 17 point advantage with women while Sanders leads among men by 8 points.
The most worrisome news for Hillary in the current poll may be her narrowing lead among Latino voters. From the Filed Poll press release:
One of the state’s fasting growing voting constituencies, Latinos, are now closely divided in their presidential preferences. The current poll finds 49% of Latinos backing Clinton and 42% supporting Sanders. This represents a narrowing of Clinton’s advantage among Latinos from January, when Clinton held an eighteen-point advantage (53% to 35%) over Sanders among Latinos. The current poll also finds a huge generational divide among Latino voters, with 69% of Latinos under age 40 backing Sanders, and 66% of Latinos age 40 or older supporting Clinton.
The poll also shows that Sanders is viewed more favorably statewide than Clinton among Democratic primary voters. In addition, Clinton’s supporters have a more positive view of Sanders than Sanders’ supporters do of Clinton:
For Clinton, 70% say they have a favorable impression of her, while 27% offer a negative assessment. Sanders’ profile among Democratic primary voters is even more positive, with 75% viewing him favorably and 16% unfavorably.
However, in the current poll Sanders is viewed much more favorably by voters currently backing Clinton, than Clinton is among supporters of Sanders. Clinton backers offer a more than two-to-one positive assessment of Sanders (61% to 26%). By contrast, Sanders’ supporters hold mixed views of Clinton, with 50% rating her positively and 47% negatively.
With 12% of respondents still undecided and two months before the primary, it seems there is plenty of room for Sanders to continue to narrow the gap. If nothing else, this poll gives Sanders and his supporters a reason to keep fighting until June.