Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is drawing new support from Latino voters — especially young ones — in California, threatening a core Hillary Clinton constituency and convincing many analysts that he can come from behind to win the June 7 primary.
Poll results from April already showed Clinton’s once-dominant lead among Latino voters shrinking to a statistical dead heat. As Breitbart News noted, Clinton led among Latinos by 30 points in October, but led the most recent poll by only one point.
The shift is partly a reaction to Donald Trump, who has evoked strong reactions among Latino voters. Radical groups that support Sanders’s campaign have tapped into — and stoked — that outrage more effectively than Clinton’s institutional allies.
The latest sign of Sanders’s potential in the state is voter registration data that show a surge among young, Democratic voters in recent weeks. Registration among Latino voters is up a staggering 123%, according to a recent report by Political Data.
Anecdotal evidence is also piling up. Latino activists have been protesting Trump events for months, but have also taken to demonstrating outside Hillary Clinton rallies in California. In Riverside on Tuesday evening, dozens of protesters interrupted the former Secretary of State, and also rallied outside: “Hey hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go!”
San Francisco-area CBS News affiliate KPIX observes that Sanders’s surge among Latinos could mean trouble for Hillary:
A come-from-behind win for Sanders in California — a Clinton stronghold and home to 1 in 8 people in the United States — would end the former first lady’s campaign with a thud, allowing Sanders to refresh his argument that he’s the party’s best chance to defeat Republican Donald Trump in November…
Clinton ran up a commanding 2-to-1 edge with Hispanics when she carried California over Barack Obama in the state’s 2008 presidential primary. But an independent Field Poll last month revealed a much closer contest and a familiar divide in the electorate: Clinton had a 7-point edge with Hispanics overall, while Sanders was the choice by a nearly 3-to-1 margin for Latinos under age 40.
Meanwhile, voter registration among young Hispanics, those age 18 to 29, has been climbing, and they lean to Sanders.
Sanders “has a real potential to win Latinos” in California, predicted Sanders campaign pollster Ben Tulchin. “He needs an influx of young Latinos and he’s getting it, it’s happening.”
Clinton has relied on strong support from black and Latino voters as a firewall against Sanders’s insurgent campaign. But if that firewall shifts — as it did in Michigan and elsewhere — Sanders could win California, even though Hillary’s dominant lead among the party’s “superdelegates” almost certainly guarantees her more delegates from the Golden State.
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.