Voices from Russia

Monday, 12 October 2015

Bernie Sanders Surges in California Poll

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A Field Poll released on Wednesday shows that Hillary Clinton, the putative front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, saw a dramatic drop in support among likely California primary voters since May as rival Bernie Sanders surged. Less than half of likely Democratic voters in the June 2016 presidential primary in California, 47 percent, now say they’d vote for Clinton. According to the survey, a scandal over her use of a private email server whilst she was US Secretary of State damaged her candidacy. A Field Poll conducted in May found that 66 percent of likely primary voters supported Clinton, First Lady during the administration of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and later US Senator from New York State.

Meanwhile, the poll showed that self-styled socialist Sanders, so far Clinton’s most prominent challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, since May climbed from single-digit voter support among California voters to 35 percent. Mark DiCamillo, the Field Poll’s director, said that California appeared to be in accord with voters nationally, where Clinton’s approval ratings suffered under the weight of the email revelations, noting:

I think it primarily has to do with the fact that over the past few months almost all the news voters have heard about Hillary Clinton has been about this email scandal, and not her policy positions. The campaign is pretty much in a defensive mode and that’s never a good thing.

The poll also found less enthusiasm for Clinton as the party’s nominee and that 63 percent of likely voters believed it’d be a good thing if Vice President Joe Biden were to enter the race. However only 15 percent of likely voters said that they’d back Biden in the June primary if he were to enter the race, an apparent contradiction that DiCamillo explained by citing Democrats’ frustration over a primary season that saw their candidates overshadowed by a larger noisier Republican race:

What that says to me is that Democratic voters really would like the opportunity to see their candidate against any and all comers, and Biden would certainly be welcomed into race. That might turn more attention to the Democratic primary.

Field conducted the poll from 17 September to 4 October by telephone in English and Spanish, surveying 1,002 registered voters in California, 391 considered likely to vote in the June primary, according to the Field Poll. The margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.

7 October 2015

Reuters via Jewish Daily Forward


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