A Field Poll released on Thursday shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by two points in the California primary, 45-43, a statistical dead heat. It is the third poll in a week to show a two-point margin between the two — a virtual tie, within the poll’s 3.2% margin of error.
The poll, conducted among 571 likely Democratic and 351 likely Republican voters, shows Clinton with a 4-point edge among Latinos, and winning among whites and blacks. Sanders, however, leads widely among Asian-Americans.
Mark DeCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said in a release:
The widest differences are generational, with Sanders the overwhelming choice of voters under age 30 and Clinton preferred by a two-to-one margin among Democratic primary voters age 65 or older. There are also big differences between registered Democrats, who favor Clinton by nine points, and non-partisans intending to vote in the Democratic presidential primary, who are now backing Sanders two to one.
The challenge for Sanders is that independent voters must request a special ballot to vote for Sanders. Many may forget to do so.
In addition, DeCamillo noted that the poll shows Republican voters slowly lining up behind Trump in California: “On the Republican side, 60% of this state’s GOP voters are now intending to vote for Donald Trump in California’s Republican presidential primary. In addition, an increasing proportion of the state’s likely GOP electorate now say they have a favorable opinion of Trump.”
Last week, a Public Policy Institute of California poll showed Sanders trailing Clinton 46%-44% in California. On Wednesday, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll also showed Sanders trailing Clinton by 2, 49%-47%. The remarkable consistency in late polling does not necessarily indicate the final result: Clinton may benefit from her larger lead in earlier polls, as California voters began voting by mail in early May.
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.