Sanders, Warren, Biden lead the Democratic Primary in California

Change Research/ KQED California Poll: December 6-10, 2019

Key Takeaways: 

  • Bernie Sanders (26%), Elizabeth Warren (23%), and Joe Biden (19%) lead among Democratic primary voters in California in December.
  • Sanders leads among 18-34 year-old voters and 35-49 year-old voters; Warren leads among 50-64 year old voters and 65 years and older voters.
  • Biden (47%) has a 44-point lead over Sanders (3%) among black voters, while Sanders has a strong lead among Latinx voters with 37%, followed by Warren (17%) and Biden (16%).

Change Research surveyed 1,565 likely general election voters in California, including 862 likely Democratic primary voters.

Sanders, Warren, and Biden Lead the Democratic Primary in California

Bernie Sanders leads the Democratic primary with 26%. He is followed by Elizabeth Warren (23%), Joe Biden (19%), Pete Buttigieg (12%), Andrew Yang (4%), Michael Bloomberg (3%), Tulsi Gabbard (3%), Cory Booker (3%), Julián Castro (3%), and Tom Steyer (2%). All other candidates poll at 1% or less.

Democratic Nomination – Breakdown By Age

Sanders leads among 18-34 year-old voters in California with 39% of the vote, followed by Warren with 26%, and Yang with 13%. Among 35-49 year old voters, Sanders leads with 32%, followed by Biden (26%) and Warren (13%). Warren (26%) leads both Biden (19%) and Buttigieg (19%) by 7 points among voters 50-64 years old, while Warren (27%) leads Biden (26%) by 1 point and Sanders (17%) and Buttigieg (17%) by 10 points among voters 65 years and older.

Democratic Nomination – Breakdown By Race

Among Latinx voters, Sanders (37%) leads Warren (17%) by 20 points and Biden (16%) by 21 points. Joe Biden leads among black voters with 47%, followed by Warren (13%), and Booker (12%). Asian voters support Biden (32%), followed by Yang (28%), and Sanders (17%). Warren leads among white voters with 31%, followed by Sanders (23%), Buttigieg (21%), and Biden (15%).

California Trends

Change Research has polled the Democratic horse race in California six times since April. This is the first poll without Senator Harris in the race. While Sanders has continued to climb, Warren experienced a slight drop since our last poll in October. Biden has stayed relatively steady since July, and Buttigieg has slightly increased since October. Although Bloomberg polled at 3% in the December poll, he is not on this trend graph because this is the first poll Change Research has polled with him in the race.

Poll Toplines


Sample & Methodology

Change Research surveyed 1,565 likely general election voters in California, including 862 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error as traditionally calculated is ± 2.5% for the full sample and ±3.3% for Democratic voters. Change Research reaches voters via targeted online ads that point people to an online survey instrument. Our Dynamic Online Sampling delivers large samples that accurately reflect the demographics of a population. Post-stratification was done on age, gender, ethnicity, region, 2016 primary and presidential vote, and self-reported social media use.