California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Trump: Giuliani to deliver report on Ukraine trip to Congress, Barr MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE (I-Vt.) are tied for first place among Democratic primary voters in California, while home-state Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBooker campaign rakes in million after Harris exits 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE (D) is running in a distant fifth, according to a new poll.

The Emerson University survey released Tuesday shows Biden and Sanders leading the pack in California with 26 percent support each, followed by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (D-Mass.) at 20 percent. No other candidate secures double-digit support in the poll.

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Tech entrepreneur and political newcomer Andrew YangAndrew YangYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events MORE notches 7 percent support in the survey, with Harris following at 6 percent support.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWarren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Chicago Mayor Lightfoot to Buttigieg: 'Break that NDA' to have 'moral authority' against Trump Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE (D) took sixth and seventh place in the poll with 5 percent and 4 percent support, respectively.

The survey is a sign that Harris may face a difficult battle in her home state’s nominating contest, a delegate-rich election that carries more significance than ever because of an accelerated primary schedule that places it on Super Tuesday, when voters in a dozen states will cast their ballots for the Democratic nomination.

“Senator Kamala Harris is in trouble in her home state. If she is unable to gain momentum in Iowa or New Hampshire, come Super Tuesday she might have a similar fate to Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump TikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week GOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements MORE in 2016, when he was unable to win his home state of Florida and dropped out of the race,” Emerson Polling Director Spencer Kimball said, referring to Rubio’s 2016 loss to President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE in Florida’s Republican presidential primary.

In fact, no recent presidential candidate who lost his or her home state in a primary has gone on to win their party’s nomination.

Sanders’s support in the Golden State is driven primarily by voters under the age of 50. Among those voters, the Vermont senator carries 34 percent support, according to the Emerson poll. Warren takes 18 percent among that group, while Biden trails with 16 percent.

But Biden enjoys strong support with older voters. Among those over the age of 50, the former vice president notched 40 percent support. Warren received 23 percent among that group, while Sanders scored 13 percent. 

While the poll shows Warren running in third place in California, it also suggests that her support may be shakier than her fellow top-tier candidates in the state.

Only 31 percent of respondents who picked Warren as their first choice said they would definitely vote for her in the primary. Among those that said they would support Sanders or Biden, 67 and 59 percent respectively said that they would stick with their candidate of choice.

The Emerson poll surveyed 424 registered Democratic voters in California from Sept. 13 to 16. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.