New USC Poll Shows Senator Bernie Sanders Suddenly Ahead Of Clinton In California

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Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have a lot at risk in the upcoming California primary with the largest delegate prize — 475 delegates — up for grabs. Polls in recent days showed Clinton with about a 2 point lead over Sanders, but the latest poll indicates an even tighter race.

A new poll shows Sanders ahead by 1 percentage point. What could play worse for Clinton is that California is open to independent voters.

The Hill reports on the results:

‘A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll released Thursday evening shows Sanders leading with 44 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent.

Sanders’ 1-point lead falls within the poll’s margin of error.

California’s primary is open to independent voters that give Sanders a boost; among registered Democrats, Clinton still leads Sanders by 4 points, while Sanders has 50 percent support from independents to Clinton’s 34 percent.

But, the poll found, Clinton has a 10-point lead among those likely to vote next week, primarily due to support from older voters.’

Clinton has typically clinched support from older voters in various states, while Sanders, who is older, has overtaken her with younger voters.

“Bernie Sanders has tapped into a wellspring of support in the Democratic primary over the last several weeks and he’s closing with a rush,” said Dan Schnur, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.

“If Clinton manages to hold him off and win the primary, it would be as a result of a low turnout that tilts the electorate in her direction,” Unruh added.

‘Sanders has barnstormed California in recent weeks, hoping to grab a large share of the state’s 475 delegates up for grabs. However, if primary results are as close as recent polls indicate, Sanders and Clinton would split the 475 delegates evenly, which wouldn’t give Sanders much of a boost in his search for the nomination.’

But again, voter turnout would be a big factor here. Still yet, Clinton leads in Superdelegates.

Clinton leads in the pledged delegate count 1,769 to 1,501 at this point and with 475 delegates up for grabs, this should make for a very interesting primary.

However, when factoring in superdelegates, Clinton’s lead is counted at 2,313. If we tally in the Superdelegates, Clinton falls short of only 70 delegates to win the coveted Democratic nomination.

Making this an even more interesting race, superdelegates don’t officially vote until the convention, so Sanders has pledged to fight until then in order to convince superdelegates to flip and support him.

“Obviously, if we don’t do well in California, it will make our path much, much harder. No question about it,” Sanders said on “Meet the Press” last Sunday, according to NBC. “But I think we have a good chance to win in California, maybe win big, and maybe win four or five of the other states that [hold races] on June 7.”

Meanwhile, an NBC News/WallStreetJournal/MaristPoll released on Thursday shows Clinton ahead by 2 percentage points.

Those findings show Sanders leading among first-time participants (72 percent to 28 percent), independents (68 percent to 26 percent), those younger than 45 (66 percent to 30 percent), men (54 percent to 43 percent), and Latinos (49 percent to 46 percent).

“As throughout the primary season, age is the story in this California tossup,” says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, according to NBC. “Sanders inspires younger or first-time voters, and Clinton relies upon those who are older or have participated in the past.”

As for the superdelegates, New Hampshire State Senator and the vice chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Martha Fuller Clark, just announced that she will back Sanders.

Featured image: Donkey Hotey via Flickr, allowable under Creative Commons license.