Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bernie Sanders Leads Among Eligible Voters in California

Today's election day, finally.

Here's Cathleen Decker, at the Los Angeles Times, "Analysis: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in a tight race in California as the campaign batters her popularity":

Hillary Clinton’s popularity has slumped in California under an unrelenting challenge from Bernie Sanders, who has succeeded in breaching the demographic wall Clinton had counted on to protect her in the state’s presidential primary, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found.

As he has done across the country this primary season, Sanders commands the support of younger voters by huge margins in advance of Tuesday’s primary — even among Latinos and Asians, voter groups that Clinton easily won when she ran eight years ago. Many of his backers come from a large pool of voters who have registered for the first time in the weeks before the election.

Yet, Tuesday’s outcome remains difficult to predict, precisely because of the untested nature of Sanders’ following. That portends an intense fight in the final days of the campaign.

The Vermont senator has battled Clinton to a draw among all voters eligible for the Democratic primary, with 44% siding with him to 43% for Clinton. That represented a nine-point swing from a USC/Los Angeles Times poll in March, in which Clinton led handily.

But among those most likely to vote, based on their voting history and stated intentions this time around, Clinton led, 49%-39%, in the new poll. Her standing is bolstered by the reliability of her older supporters, who have a proven record of casting ballots.

She also leads convincingly among registered Democrats; 53% of likely Democratic voters supported her, to 37% for Sanders. Throughout the year, she has carried party members in every state but Sanders’ home state of Vermont and next-door New Hampshire, where he won in a landslide.

As he has elsewhere, Sanders benefits here from party rules that allow registered nonpartisan voters — known in California as “no party preference” voters — to take part in the Democratic primary. Among nonpartisans who were likely to vote, he led by 48%-35%.

Sanders’ chances of victory rest on big turnout of voters who typically don’t vote in primaries and who — in the case of the nonpartisans — will have to navigate complicated voter rules to request a Democratic ballot.

“His base of support is young voters, low-propensity voters and [nonpartisan] voters. Not only does he have to turn them out by election day, but he has to educate all those nonpartisan voters” to request a Democratic ballot, said Dan Schnur, the poll director who heads USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.

“That’s not to say he can’t pull it off, but this may be the biggest voter mobilization challenge California has seen in many, many years.”

For all the threat the primary represents, Clinton, who likely will clinch the Democratic nomination even before Californians’ votes are counted, retains most of her strength in a general election contest against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Trump has contended in recent days that he could make a run at California in November, but the poll showed that to be implausible, at best...

And ICYMI, "Hillary Clinton Rallies Supporters at Long Beach City College (VIDEO)."