The "radical" socialist is a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination after all. Many believe he will be able to take on his biggest contenders.
A poll conducted by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that Bernie Sanders takes a 32 percent lead in California's Democratic Presidential Primary, The Los Angeles Times reports. At present, four of his contenders are virtually tied for second place. Sanders is likely to beat out former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Mayors Michael R. Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg. This is a vast change in direction from the Senators' previous Presidential campaign in 2016, during which Hillary Clinton was his biggest contender. Sanders' lead can be attributed to his ability to target minority voting groups, experts believe.
Mark Baldassare, president and chief executive of the public policy institute, stated, "As the campaign moves to larger and more diverse states, Sanders’ support among Latinos and younger voters is noteworthy." According to the poll, Sanders has been able to consolidate votes amongst Latinos as well as voters under the age of 45 years old. In comparison, the poll's predictions for both Biden and Warren are rather grim. In order to secure a Democratic nomination, candidates are expected to win 1,991 delegates. California, the largest state of 14 holding primaries on Super Tuesday, has a total of 415 delegates on offer, so to speak.
In order to capture any of California’s delegates, candidates are required to win at least 15% of the vote statewide or in a congressional district as per the Democratic party rules. The poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California had a margin of sampling error within 5.7 percent. Therefore, Senator Sanders could be well within the victory limits. His contenders, meanwhile, are expected to clock in at half his share of votes. Biden is predicted to win 14 percent, Warren, 13 percent, and Bloomberg and Buttigieg, both 12 percent. Unfortunately, Biden and Warren dropped 10 percentage points since the institute's poll from earlier this year in January.
In comparison, other candidates trail even further behind. Senator Amy Klobuchar is expected to win 5 percent of votes and hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer, only 3 percent. The latter candidate's performance is especially unfortunate as he spent nearly $26 million on television and radio ads in the typically blue state - all from his personal fortune. Similarly, Bloomberg, too, has spent a hefty amount of his own funds on his Presidential campaign to the tune of $300 million. Unlike Steyer, however, his expensive campaigning has proven beneficial. The candidate has quickly risen to the top tier of the field nationwide. He has been permitted to participate in the Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday in Las Vegas due to his improved poll ratings.
Nonetheless, Sanders is still number one. Bill Carrick, a Los Angeles-based Democratic consultant, said in an interview with Bloomberg Magazine, "One reason Sanders is strong here is that a lot of people feel left out of this miracle economy, but there’s more to it than that. He also benefits from an anti-establishment feeling. His style of campaigning and his blunt talk comes off as very believable and passionate." A national survey released Tuesday by NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist confirmed Sanders' lead. The survey found 31 percent of Democrats and independents lean towards Sanders, with Bloomberg falling in second at 19 percent. The last day to register for the 2020 Democratic Primary in California was February 18, while those who wish to mail in their ballots will have until February 25 to get a ballot. Election day is scheduled for March 3. It's time to get out and vote, people! Click here to learn more about voting day.