Extremely low turnout among young and independent voters in last week’s California presidential primary nixed what could have been a key victory for Bernie Sanders, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey.
The statewide survey showed that Sanders won among young voters, independents and Latinos, but Hillary Clinton’s overwhelming margins among older voters, African-Americans and women — all of whom turned out in much larger numbers — allowed her to win the primary comfortably.
Clinton heads into the general election with almost a 2-1 lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump among California voters, leading 61 percent to 31 percent in a two-way race.
“Our pre-election poll showed Sanders winning by one point among all eligible voters and Clinton with a 10-point lead among likely voters. Ultimately, Clinton turned out her voters and Sanders didn’t,” said Dan Schnur, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.
“Despite all their other very commendable qualities, young people simply don’t vote in as large percentages as their parents and grandparents,” Schnur said, adding that “non-aligned voters generally turn out in much smaller numbers than registered party members.”
Sanders’ supporters have begun to coalesce around Clinton’s candidacy in California, according to the survey, with strong majorities agreeing to support her in the fall, although 25 percent of Sanders’ voters say that they will not vote for her under any circumstances.
Th survey was conducted June 7-10 among 1,553 registered voters in California, including 1,264 who said they voted in the June 7 primary election.
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