Sanders has 24 percent support among primary voters. He is closely followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 16 percent, former Vice President Joe Biden with 13 percent, and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg with 12 percent. No other candidate reached double-digits in the survey.
The support mostly comes from young and Hispanic voters, according to the poll. The self-proclaimed democratic socialist has a 9-point lead over Warren among voters under the age of 45 (31 percent to 22 percent) and has a 16-point lead among Hispanics.
“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 is considered one of the most important states for the Democratic race to elect the nominee against US President Donald Trump in November. The 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. The voting will take place in less than two weeks on Super Tuesday, March 3.