Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Bernie Sanders spoke Monday at Santa Monica High School. (Photo: BernieSanders.com)

Neck-and-Neck in California as Sanders Virtually Erases 50-Point Deficit

New poll shows Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in statistical tie less than two weeks before California's Democratic primary

Deirdre Fulton

Less than two weeks before California's critical Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are locked in a dead heat in that state, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The same poll (pdf) shows Sanders outperforming Clinton in a hypothetical match-up against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The survey, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), shows that among Democratic primary likely voters, 46 percent support Clinton and 44 percent support Sanders. Sanders leads Clinton among those who are very liberal (64% to 35%) as well as among younger voters (66% to 27%). Latino voters are slightly more likely to support Clinton (52% to 43%), while white voters are more divided (47% Clinton, 41% Sanders).

The San Jose Mercury News points out: "Sanders started the campaign a year ago trailing Clinton in California by more than 50 percentage points in early polls, but he had pared down her lead to single digits earlier this year. PPIC's last poll in March found Sanders trailing by seven percentage points."

As Politico notes, a Sanders victory on June 7 would create "an awkward situation for Clinton, who could be celebrating being dubbed the 'presumptive nominee' even as she loses the nation's largest state—and one of its most diverse."

Against Trump, Sanders wins 53-36 percent (with 11 percent undecided), while Clinton bests Trump by a smaller margin of 49-39 percent (11 percent undecided).

The poll numbers—sharply different from findings released earlier this week, which gave Clinton an 18-point lead in California—came on the same day as the State Department's Inspector General sharply criticized Clinton's use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.

PPIC's poll also showed a majority (60%) in support of a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. Sanders endorsed that measure at a rally last week.

The PPIC findings were based on a telephone survey of 1,704 California adult residents—half (853) interviewed on landline telephones and half (851) on cell phones—from May 13-22. The margin of error is +/- 5.7 percentage points.

Clinton holds rallies Thursday in San Jose and San Francisco, while Sanders will appear in Ventura and Ponoma.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bloodbath': At Least 6 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Mass Shooting at Illinois July 4th Parade

"What freedom do we have if we fear being gunned down at a parade?" asked one progressive politician horrified by the reported carnage.

Brett Wilkins ·


On This July 4th, Abortion Rights Movement Says 'We're Not in the Mood for Fireworks'

"If we don’t have the ability to make decisions about if, when, and how to grow our families—we don't have freedom."

Brett Wilkins ·


Deadly Glacier Collapse in Italy 'Linked Directly to Climate Change'

At least seven people were killed when a glacier slid down a mountainside near a popular climbing route in the Alps on Sunday.

Julia Conley ·


'Organized Whitewash': US Claims Israeli Military's Murder of Journalist Not Intentional

"The odds that those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh will be held to account are all but nonexistent," said the human rights group B'Tselem in response to findings of U.S. State Department.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hundreds March in Akron Enraged by Police Killing of Jayland Walker

"The police can do whatever they want," said one local resident through tears. "They can take our children's lives and think it's okay."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo