Warren takes California lead in new CA120 tracking poll

A political rally in Santa Monica in 2016. (Photo: Joseph Sohm

The latest monthly tracking poll for California’s March 2020 Democratic primary election shows Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren increasing her share of the vote, for the first time pushing former Vice President Joe Biden down to third place among likely voters.

Initial Presidential Vote (N=599)
Elizabeth Warren        173 29%
Bernie Sanders        125 21%
Joe Biden        109 18%
Kamala Harris         64 11%
Peter Buttigieg         44 7%
Andrew Yang         24 4%
Tulsi Gabbard         15 2%
Beto O’Rourke         13 2%
Cory Booker           7 1%
Amy Klobuchar           6 1%
Julian Castro           5 1%
Marianne Williamson           5 1%
Tom Steyer           2 0%

This survey again shows there are a set of leading candidates, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and California Sen. Kamala Harris earning double-digit support, followed by a pack of 10 or more in single or sub-single digits.

Beyond the horse race, we find additional signs of strength for Warren, Sanders, Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana,  in follow-up questions about second choices, who voters would like to learn more about and who they would support if “electability” were not a concern.

The top three in each of these show strength beyond the topline snapshot:

Second Choice

Elizabeth Warren        148 25%
Kamala Harris         93 16%
Bernie Sanders         85 14%

Interested in Learning More

Elizabeth Warren        113 19%
Kamala Harris         94 16%
Peter Buttigieg         84 14%

If Electability Wasn’t a Concern

Elizabeth Warren        153 26%
Bernie Sanders        120 20%
Peter Buttigieg         77 13%

Unlike prior surveys, this monthly edition was weighted, providing results for the Sept. 1-13 survey among voters likely to vote in the March primary election,  according to Political Data Inc.  The answers to key polling questions and the demographics of the survey can be found here.

The unweighted data, with tools for deeper analysis, can be found in this infographic.

This can tell additional stories from this survey and its relationship to polling over the past six months.

As an example, one can look more closely at the polling just in that portion of the likely primary voters who said they supported Sanders in 2016.  Among this population we can see Sanders still leading, but he has consistently been under 50%, and Elizabeth Warren has leaped out of the pack to get right on his heels over the past 120 days.

At the same time, tracking the Latino vote over these six months should provide concern to the Warren campaign and embolden Sanders supporters.

Looking at the monthly tracking we can see that among Latinos it is a two-candidate race between Sanders and Biden.  This is also seen in the weighted results with Warren running 17-points behind Sanders, and third overall, among this key, and growing, California demographic.

The voter universe surveyed in this poll are predominantly Democratic (77%) with a smaller share of primary qualified independent and minor party voters who are eligible to vote in the March contest (23%).  Regionally, the poll is 54% Southern California voters, 31% Bay Area and other Northern California, and 15% Central Valley. Nearly half (46%) of the survey was comprised of voters over the age of 55, and the majority of the survey was white (55%) with Latinos comprising 26% of the electorate, and African Americans and Asians at 8% and 7%, respectively.

Respondents were emailed surveys based on voter file email addresses provided by Political Data Inc, utilizing PDI’s emailing tools and Survey Monkey polling instrument, with a match-back to the voter file utilizing the PDI unique voter ID.  Respondents were allowed to take the survey only once, and no surveys were conducted outside of the target population.

Ed’s Note: John Howard is the editor of Capitol Weekly.


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