Sanders leads by 17 Points in the Democratic Primary in California

Change Research/ KQED California Poll: February 20-23, 2020

Key Takeaways:

  • Bernie Sanders (37%) has consolidated his lead in the Democratic primary, followed by Warren (20%), Biden (12%), Buttigieg (11%), and Bloomberg (6%).
  • Sanders leads among all age groups. His lead is smallest among voters 50 to 64 years old and 65 years and older; he leads Warren by 5 points and 10 points respectively in these age groups.
  • Sanders has a significant lead among non-white Democratic primary voters. Among Latinx voters, 42% support Sanders, followed by Biden and Buttigieg, both with 13%.

Change Research surveyed 1,822 likely general election voters in California, including 1,069 likely Democratic primary voters, and 544 likely Republican primary voters.

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

Bernie Sanders leads the Democratic primary with 37%. He is followed by Elizabeth Warren (20%), Joe Biden (12%), Pete Buttigieg (11%), Michael Bloomberg (6%), Amy Klobuchar (5%) Andrew Yang (4%), and Tom Steyer (3%). All other candidates poll at 2% or less. While Andrew Yang’s campaign has formally ended, he is still on the ballot in California.

Democratic Nomination – Breakdown By Age

Sanders overwhelmingly leads among 18-34 year-old voters with 56% of the vote. The next closest candidates are Elizabeth Warren with 16% and Pete Buttigieg with 8%. Among 35 to 49 year olds, Sanders leads substantially with 41%, followed by Warren (24%), Buttigieg (11%), and Biden (9%). The race narrows slightly among voters 50 years and older. Sanders still leads among those 50 to 64 with 27% of the vote, trailed by Warren (22%) and Biden (16%). Among voters 65 years and older, Sanders leads with 28%, followed by Warren (18%) and Biden (15%).

Democratic Nomination – Breakdown By Race

Sanders leads among all ethnic groups. Among Latinx voters, Sanders (42%) leads Biden (13%), Buttigieg (13%) and Warren (11%). Asian voters support Sanders (40%), followed by Yang (18%), Warren (17%), and Biden (14%). Among white voters, Sanders leads with 35%, trailed by Warren (24%), Buttigieg (12%) and Biden (9%).

Trends in the Democratic Nomination Since April

Change Research has polled the Democratic horse race in California eight times since April. Sanders has continued his steady climb, consistently rising in our polls since July. Warren began losing support in October, but she’s seen a 4% increase in support after the Nevada debate. Buttigieg saw a 3% increase in support since our last poll in January that was prior to the Iowa caucuses, and Biden saw a 3% decrease.



Sample & Methodology

Change Research surveyed 1,822 likely general election voters in California, including 1,069 likely Democratic primary voters and 544 likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error as traditionally calculated is ± 2.3% for the full sample, ±3.4% for Democratic primary voters, and ±4.1% for Republican primary 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, political region, 2016 primary vote, and 2016 general vote.

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