California Counts

A collaboration between Capital Public Radio, KQED, KPCC and KPBS to cover the 2016 elections in California.

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Clinton's Lead Over Sanders Shrinks In New California Poll

Andrew Harnik / AP

In this photo taken April 3, 2015, Ready for Hillary apparel and accessories are packed up at the Ready for Hillary super PAC store in Arlington, Va.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Bernie Sanders is catching up with Hillary Clinton in California’s Democratic presidential race. A new Field Poll out Friday morning shows Sanders trailing Clinton by six points, 47 percent to 41 percent, among likely Democratic primary voters. His deficit was 11 points back in January.
Another 12 percent are undecided with less than two months to go before California’s June 7th primary.

Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo says the results suggest the Vermont senator’s attacks have hurt the former secretary of state.

“Sanders has been wounding Clinton as this campaign has progressed,“ DiCamillo says. “Her image rating among Sanders supporters back in January was much more positive than it is now. So Sanders’s punches have been connecting.”

The poll shows Clinton and Sanders have support from similar groups in California as they do nationally. It also shows Latinos under 40 strongly support Sanders, while those over 40 overwhelmingly back Clinton.

Both candidates draw support from similar groups in California as they do nationally – and both have room to grow because some voters in their core groups remain undecided.

“I don’t think either of them really are at a ceiling, and the question really will boil down to what will the turnout look like?“ DiCamillo says. “Can the candidates get their own supporters to the polls? Turnout will be a huge factor.”

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Thursday's Field Poll showed Donald Trump with a 39 to 32 percent lead over Ted Cruz in California, with John Kasich trailing at 18 percent.

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