Poll: Close race between Sanders and Clinton in California

A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a dead heat in the California Democratic primary to be held on June 7th. From the PPIC press release:

Among Democratic primary likely voters, 46 percent support Clinton and 44 percent support Sanders. These voters include Democrats and independents who say they will vote in the Democratic primary. Clinton has a slight lead over Sanders among registered Democrats (49% to 41%).

Voters age 45 and older are more likely to support Clinton (59%), while younger voters are more likely to favor Sanders (66%). Both men (46% Sanders, 42% Clinton) and women (49% Clinton, 42% Sanders) are divided.

The margin of error for likely voters in this poll was 4.3% meaning Clinton’s two point advantage is really a dead heat. Sanders has said he wants to win the California primary to give himself maximum political power at the convention this summer. That effort to continue his campaign even if it risks damaging Clinton’s chances has made some Democrats very nervous. Last week Senator Dianne Feinstein said she was concerned the national convention could turn into a replay of 1968 when there fights inside the hall and riots outside.

Sanders didn’t help allay the fears of Clinton supporters when he said in an interview that the convention would be “messy.” Sanders did clarify he wasn’t talking about violence but the recent fracas at the Nevada convention has some concerned not all of Sanders supporters will get the message.

One of the things that Sanders has pointed to when asked why he is continuing his campaign is polls that show he does better against Trump than Hillary Clinton does. This poll is no different:

In a fall presidential matchup, Clinton has support from 49 percent of likely voters, while 39 percent favor Trump, and another 11 percent would vote for someone else or are undecided. Women support Clinton by a wide margin (61% to 30%), and men are more likely to favor Trump (49% to 38% Clinton). In a matchup between Sanders and Trump, 53 percent of likely voters favor Sanders, 36 percent support Trump, and 11 percent would vote for someone else or are undecided.

Obviously the fate of California in the 2016 election is not in doubt. It will go for the Democratic candidate by a wide margin. Still, this is another poll showing that Sanders performs better against Trump.

The current Real Clear Politics average of polls, which now includes this PPIC poll, shows Clinton with an 8 point lead over Sanders. However, recent polls fall into two categories. Those, like this one and a previous Fox News poll, which show a race within the margin of error and those, like a KABC poll released earlier this week, which show Clinton up 18 points.

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David Strom 3:31 PM on March 27, 2023