A new Fox News poll of likely California primary voters released late Friday shows Donald Trump leading the Republican field with with 49%, with Sen. Ted Cruz a distant second at 22%, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 20%.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is virtually tied with Hillary Clinton, trailing her 48% to 46%. The poll was conducted April 18-21 by telephone and cell phone among 623 likely Democratic and 583 likely Republican voters, with a 4% margin of error.
Trump’s surge in the Golden State now seems to have been confirmed. Polls as recently as early April showed Cruz closing the gap to about seven points, but three separate polls released this week — some of which were conducted in the aftermath of Trump’s massive victory in the New York primary — have shown Trump approaching 50 percent, and enjoying leads for Trump of 17 points or higher.
Clinton’s win in her home state did not seem to have the same effect on voters in California.
The polls do not yet reflect the ongoing controversy about Trump’s position on transgender bathroom laws, which seems to depart from the conservative line.
They may reflect enthusiasm among California Republicans for Trump’s line of attack over the past two weeks — namely, that the primary system is rigged against the voters. Trump’s clearest regions of support in California are in areas where Republicans never win, or where they are strong locally but fail at the state or national levels.
Cruz has predicted that he will do well in California against Trump, whom he has called a “niche” candidate. Yet Cruz is now in danger of being relegated to that category, as Kasich moves up in the polls. Kasich also enjoys the support of the last Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Current polls may have a disproportionate effect on the outcome, because mail-in voting begins May 9. Only about one-third of California primary voters will cast their ballots on primary day, June 7.
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.