Harris Surges in California, Now in Dead Heat With Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., , center, gestures towards former vice president Joe Biden, as Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., talks, during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art in Miami on June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(CN) – Voters in the Golden State are warming up to Kamala Harris, according to a poll released Wednesday that shows her overtaking front-runner Joe Biden among California Democrats.

With 474 days until the 2020 presidential election, it’s anyone game to lose.

Harris, the junior U.S. senator from California, has the support of 23% of Democratic voters in her home state, slightly over former Vice President Biden’s 21%, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll survey. The distance between the two is within the margin of error, meaning they’re in a statistical dead heat.

Harris, a former district attorney for San Francisco who also served as California’s attorney general, enjoyed a bump in the polls after the April presidential debates.

According to the Wednesday’s poll, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received 18% support from Democratic voters, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren received 16% and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg got just 3%. New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang brings up the rear with 2%.

Meanwhile, four contenders earned support from just 1% of California Democrats and 15 candidates scored less than a percent.

Just prior to announcing his presidential run, Biden had the support of 26% of California Democrats polled by Quinnipiac in April. At the same time, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had 18% and Harris had 17%, while Warren came in at just 7%.

But the candidates have their own strengths and weaknesses, according to Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. Just over a quarter of California Democrats polled said Biden would be the best leader, with Harris receiving 18% of that pie.

Meanwhile, 28% said they thought Warren has the best policy ideas, followed by Sanders at 20%, Biden at 11% and Harris at just 9%.

An overwhelming number – 45% of California Democrats – think Biden is the best candidate to take on President Donald Trump, overshadowing Sanders at 12%, Harris at 11% and just 8% for Warren.

“Hands down, it’s Biden,” said Malloy.

In June, a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed 48% of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning voters in the Golden State said it is more important to vote for a candidate who can beat Trump. As for the issues, 42% said they would base their vote on policy issues that mirrored their own.

This week, a post-debate poll from Saint Anselm College showed Warren and Harris closing the distance on Biden in New Hampshire, with younger voters looking to support a more progressive challenger for Trump.

Trump’s approval rating with California voters ranges from 35% approval to 60% disapproval across Democratic, Republican and independent voters. This is slightly down from April, but Republicans gave Trump an 87% approval on his job performance.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. received 69% approval from Democrats, 81% disapproval from Republicans and 56% disapproval from independent voters in her home state.  There was strong disapproval of her job from Southern California residents and especially from voters aged 35 to 49.

The latest poll data was gathered from July 10-15 and has a margin of error of 5.7%.

%d bloggers like this: