Sanders has 8-point lead in California: poll

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.) has an 8 point lead in California less than two weeks ahead of the state’s high-stakes primary, according to a new poll released Friday by the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Sanders gets the support of 24 percent of likely primary voters in the poll. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.) with 16 percent, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE with 13 percent, and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg Pete and Chasten Buttigieg welcome twins Coalition urges Democrats to restore billion in transit funding MORE and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg with 12 percent, are all battling for second place. No other candidate breaks double digits in the survey.

Sanders is buoyed by strong support from young and Hispanic voters. The Vermont lawmaker has a 9-point edge over Warren among voters under the age of 45 (31 percent to 22 percent) and has a 16-point lead among Hispanics, who make up a substantial proportion of the primary electorate in California.


“Bernie Sanders leads in California where he enjoys strong support from young voters and Latinos,” said Joshua Dyck, director of the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and associate professor of political science. “But watch out for Elizabeth Warren. She trails by 8 and if she can parlay her strong debate performance into strong performances in Nevada and South Carolina, then she may be poised to make a play for part of the biggest delegate prize on Super Tuesday in the Golden State.” 

California, which holds its primary on Super Tuesday, March 3, is the crown jewel of the Democratic primary race. The Golden State will determine 415 pledged delegates, by far the most of any primary.

Candidates have to net at least 15 percent in the primary to garner any delegates, raising the prospect that the hefty haul could be split by a few contenders.

Sanders has opened up a substantial lead in the state, leading in seven of the eight surveys conducted in California this year, according to RealClearPolitics’ tracking of polls. 

The UMass Lowell poll surveyed 450 likely California Democratic primary voters from Feb. 12-20 and has a margin of error of 6.7 percent.