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Sanders building bigger lead in Texas, California, say new polls

Sanders building bigger lead in Texas, California, say new polls
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Trump's debate performance was too little, too late Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit MORE (I-Vt.) has posted big gains in the latest CNN polls of Texas and California and will enter election day with comfortable leads in the two biggest states to vote on Super Tuesday.

A new CNN-SSRS survey released Friday found Sanders leading his next closest rival by 21 points in California, which has the biggest delegates prize of any state in the country.

The poll found Sanders at 35 percent support, a 15-point gain over the same poll in December. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFinal debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit Biden defends his health plan from Trump attacks Progressives blast Biden plan to form panel on Supreme Court reform MORE (D-Mass.) is a distant second place at 14 percent, followed by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE at 13 percent and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg at 12 percent. Biden is down 8 points in the poll, while Bloomberg has gained 7 points.

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In Texas, the second-biggest state to vote on March 3, Sanders is at 29 percent support, picking up 14 points over the same poll from December.

Biden is in second place at 20 percent, which represents a 15-point drop. Bloomberg is in third place at 18 percent, followed by Warren at 15 percent. No other candidate reached double digits.

Sanders appears poised for a big day on Super Tuesday in large part because of his support from Latino voters, who delivered a massive victory for him at the Nevada caucuses last weekend.

Sanders is at 50 percent support among Latinos in California, and he leads with 36 percent Latino support in Texas, where he’s 15 points ahead of Biden.

The top issue on the minds of voters in California and Texas is a candidate’s ability to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE.

Among those who prioritize electability, Sanders is viewed as the best candidate to go up against Trump by 10 points over Biden in California. In Texas, however, 25 percent view Biden as having the best shot at defeating Trump, followed by Bloomberg at 20 percent, Sanders at 18 percent and Warren at 17 percent.

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Sanders has been focused on turning out voters in California and Texas for most of February, while his rivals have largely focused on contests in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The Vermont progressive has turned out big crowds at rallies over the past two weeks in Texas, where early voting ends today.

In California, Sanders’s staffers have been collecting mail-in ballots from supporters at huge rallies and taking them directly to the county registrars to hand them over in bulk.

Meanwhile, Biden has been focused on saving his campaign in South Carolina, which will vote on Saturday.

Biden is the heavy favorite to win the Palmetto State and his campaign is banking on receiving a polling and fundraising boost heading in to Super Tuesday.

The CNN poll of 488 likely Democratic primary voters in California has a 5.2-point margin of error. In Texas, the survey of 387 likely Democratic primary voters has a 6-point margin of error.