Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are leading their party counterparts by a wide margin among California voters, according to a USC Dornsife/LA Times Poll released Sunday.
Among Democrats and decline-to-state voters, Clinton is leading Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) 42 percent to 26 percent. The former Secretary of State drew most of her supporters from minority voters. Fifty-six percent of blacks say they would vote for Clinton, 54 percent of Latino voters and 41 of Asian voters.
Sanders, meanwhile, received support from 20 percent of black and Asian voters, and 17 percent of Latino voters.
“Her overall vote share is tracking with national averages and that’s in a state with a pretty significant progressive block compared to the nation as a whole,” said Drew Lieberman, vice president of Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, part of the bipartisan team with Republican polling firm American Viewpoint that conducted the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll. “What you see going on here is that she has very solid coalition of moderate-type Democrats plus non-white voters that someone like Sanders or anybody from her left flank would have to overcome in order to cut into her vote share.”
When Vice President Joe Biden was added to the list of potential candidates, both Clinton and Sanders numbers dropped, but Clinton still leads Sanders by double digits.
The news isn’t as rosy for Trump, however. While he is leading the pack with 24 percent support from Republican voters, followed by 18 percent for Dr. Ben Carson, 6 percent for both Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz, however, when asked to choose between Trump and Carson, 43 percent chose Carson versus 32 percent for Trump — an 11 percentage-point lead.
For GOP candidates who previously held elected offices, the news is worse.
“More than half of the Republican primary voters who have chosen a candidate are supporting someone who has never held elected office,” said Dan Schnur, director of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll and director of the Unruh Institute of Politics of USC. “Sheer anger toward Washington is handily defeating ideology in the Republican primary.”
When Trump and Bush were matched against each other, 47 percent of Republican voters selected Trump compared to 32 percent who selected Bush.
“California is a media state — television, social media, etc. — so it’s not surprising that you see candidates with strong media presences doing very well in California,” said David Kanevsky, research director of Republican polling firm American Viewpoint. “That being said, the Republican primary is still wide open. Undecided is in second place, just behind Trump. Where those undecided voters break is going to be very important. And, as with all polls, this is a snapshot in time and expect things to change.”
Overall, 21 percent of registered Republicans said they were undecided on a candidate.
The poll of 1,500 registered voters was conducted Aug. 29 – Sept. 8 has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.
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