Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has reached a statistical dead heat with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the latest poll — a stunning surge that threatens to snatch the California primary away from her even if she clinches the nomination June 7.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll, conducted May 13 – 22 and released Wednesday, found: “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%).”
The poll interviewed 1,704 adult California residents. The margin of error was 3.3%.
In addition, the PPIC poll found that Clinton failed to break 50% against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in a hypothetical fall matchup, leading him only 49% to 39%. In contrast, Sanders leads Trump 53% to 36%.
The East Bay Times noted the scale of Sanders’s comeback: “Sanders started the campaign a year ago trailing Clinton in California by more than 50 percentage points in early polls, but he had pared down her lead to single digits earlier this year. PPIC’s last poll in March found Sanders trailing by seven percentage points.”
Other findings of the poll include:
- 60% of Californians favor legalizing marijuana use — for which a proposal will appear on the November ballot;
- 58% favor extending the “temporary” tax on high earners approved by voters as Proposition 30 in 2012;
- 66% of Democrats aged 18 to 44 back Sanders, while 59% of those 45 and older support Clinton;
- While 74% of Democrats in California have a favorable view of their own party, 57% of Republicans have an unfavorable view of theirs; and
- California Attorney General Kamala Harris leads the race to replace U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), with 27% to only 19% for Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
Clinton is fewer than 80 delegates from the 2,383-delegate majority she needs to win a majority on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. However, she will have achieved that majority through the use of superdelegates — elected officials and party power-brokers who generally committed to Clinton well in advance of any votes.
And if she loses California — which Breitbart News predicted last week she could — her case for the nomination will suffer.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.