Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is surging in the polls this week, with a new California poll showing she has taken second place — and leads all Democratic presidential candidates when second choice votes are taken into account.
The poll, released Thursday and conducted by the University of California Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies for the Los Angeles Times, shows former vice president Joe Biden with 22% of likely Democratic primary voters in the state, followed by Warren at 18%; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 17%; home state Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at 13%; and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10%. No other candidate received support above 3%, equal to the poll’s error margin.
Moreover, the California poll shows that Warren narrowly leads all candidates when voters are asked for their second choice, and that result is added to their first choice. (Harris was the most frequent second choice among California voters.)
According to the Times, California primary voters were enthusiastic about gun control and the “Green New Deal,” but less so about “Medicare for All,” a version of which has been proposed in the state but faltered in the state legislature.
California will play a crucial role in the Democratic presidential primary. In 2016, it helped Hillary Clinton secure the nomination. But the primary date has since been moved from June to March. The state provides more delegates to the Democratic National Convention than any other, making it by far the biggest prize of the massive Super Tuesday vote.
The California poll was conducted online June 4-10, a week after more than a dozen Democratic candidates — but not Biden — spoke at the state’s annual Democratic Party convention.