With 2 months left until both the Republican and Democratic primaries in the state of California on June 7, the latest poll numbers, released by Field Research Corporation on Thursday, spell out bad news for Republican front runner Donald Trump.
US Senator Ted Cruz, who currently stands at second place in the overall race for the GOP nomination, is only 7 points behind Trump overall among likely California Republican voters. Among voters in two out of four regions of the state, Cruz is winning.
According to the survey results, in Los Angeles County, Cruz garners 40% of the support to Trump’s 29%, while in the Central Valley region, it is Cruz at 42% with Trump at 33%. Trump leads in the San Francisco Bay Area, which was noted to be a small sample size, and therefore less accurate, and Trump also leads in the area designated as “Other Southern California,” with 45% to Cruz’s 23%.
Also noteworthy, Five Thirty Eight rates the quality of this Field Poll as an “A” -not an exactly common occurrence, with most polls being rated as “B” or lower. In other words, this poll really is as bad for Trump as it sounds.
This poll, and Cruz’s lead in regions of the state, gives Trump yet another dose of bad news as he heads a campaign because of the way the election will work in June. In the California GOP Primary, unlike the practice of a sizable portion of other states, the delegates are not awarded winner-take-all over the spread of the entire state. Instead, they are awarded winner-take-all on a district by district basis, and, therefore, with Cruz’s lead among likely Republican voters in regions like Los Angeles County, Trump is poised to lose a significant amount of potential delegates.
With Trump losing in California yet again, that slim share of delegates – which will cost him the ability to obtain a majority before the July Republican National Convention in Cleveland – the GOP continues to head towards what is termed an open, or contested, convention. In such an event, no candidate going into the convention has a clear majority of total delegates -and their corresponding votes- that would allow for that candidate to win the nomination after the initial vote among the delegates at said convention.
After such a falling short, all delegates, most all of whom had their vote pledged to a specific candidate, are allowed to vote for whichever candidate they please. Such a situation would likely lead to a candidate other than Trump becoming the nominee.
In addition to those pieces of information, the analysts at Five Thirty Eight, taking all other polls and all other available statistical models into account, give, as of April 7, a 61% chance to Cruz of winning the entire state of California on June 7. A total Cruz win is absolutely terrible news for Trump, because of the increased possibility of an open convention in its aftermath.
The outcome in November stays stacked against the Republicans, though, no matter if Cruz or Trump were to win California and/or the nomination. The GOP is still incredibly divided internally. In addition to asking about the Primary election, participants in the just released Field Poll were also asked as to their response should either of the two candidates become the nominee, and for someone who might be concerned about the ability of the GOP to stay together, the results were not pretty. In the case of either major candidate becoming the nominee, at least 1 in 3 voters said they would be upset- and, in many cases, upset voters don’t vote, putting their party’s candidate in increased danger of a loss.
In other words: The Republican Party is hurtling into more chaos than it is already in, and it is looking increasingly hard to stop it.