Poll: Sanders surges into statistical tie with Warren in California

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is in a statistical tie with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) atop the 2020 Democratic primary field in California, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. 

The survey represents a shift in preferences among California primary voters in the span of about two months. Warren held a 10-point lead over Sanders in a similar poll released in late September.

Twenty-four percent of likely Democratic primary voters said in the latest survey that they favor Sanders to be the Democratic nominee, representing a 5-point increase since September. Meanwhile, 22 percent said they would support Warren for the nomination, representing a 7-point drop since the previous poll. 

Sanders’s 2-point lead over Warren is within the survey’s margin of error. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s support took a significant plunge in the Los Angeles Times survey as well. Fourteen percent of respondents said they favored Biden as the Democratic nominee, a 6-point dip since September. 

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg saw his support double since the September survey. He appeared in fourth place in the poll, with 12 percent of respondents saying they favor the candidate. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who suspended her campaign after the survey was conducted, earned 7 percent of the vote. 

The results, which come about three months before the March 3 California primary, show how “unusually fluid” the Democratic primary has been, Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley IGS poll, told the Los Angeles Times. 

“Voters are struggling and not sticking with their candidates,” he said. “They are moving around from candidate to candidate.”

The latest poll appeared to show that Warren and Biden stand to gain the most from Harris’s abrupt withdrawal from the race. The survey asked whom Harris supporters would name as their second choice. 

If the votes were reallocated based on those choices, Biden would experience a 3 percent bump and Warren would see a 2 percent increase. Sanders and Buttigieg would see their support rise by 1 percent. 

California awards the most delegates at the Democratic nominating convention. National and state polls have continued to show Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg atop the primary field. 

The Los Angeles Times/Berkeley IGS survey was conducted from Nov. 21-27 among a population of 1,694 California registered voters. The margin of error is 4 percentage points. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg
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