Sanders Polling Well Ahead of Biden in California, North Carolina

(CN) – New polling data gives Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders comfortable leads in two delegate-rich states ahead of Super Tuesday contests.

As the race for the Democratic nomination narrows with several candidates calling it quits after Vice President Joe Biden’s decisive win this weekend in South Carolina, an Emerson College/Nexstar Poll released Monday shows Sanders continues to lead among California Democrats with 38% support – well ahead of Biden’s 21%. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren comes in third with 16%, while former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg comes in fourth with 11%.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, embraces Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during the Feb. 7, 2020, Democratic presidential primary debate in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar round out the poll’s top six with 7% and 5% support respectively, though both candidates have since suspended their presidential campaigns.

Compared to an Emerson College poll conducted in September, Monday’s poll shows that Sanders has risen 12 points in the Golden State while Biden has dropped five.

A breakdown of the poll reveals that, as been largely the case this primary cycle, Sanders and Biden are pulling the bulk of their support from entirely different types of voters.

Sanders continues to do well among voters under 50, earning support from nearly half of that pool of voters. Sanders also commands strong support from women and white voters, with around a third of support from each group.

Sanders also maintains support from nearly half of voters who consider themselves either very or somewhat liberal.

Biden, meanwhile, fares far better among older voters as well as those who supported Hillary Clinton’s primary run in 2016. Biden leads the 50 and older group with 32% support and holds 40% support from former Clinton voters.

The race is far closer between the two candidates when it comes to support from black voters and voters who consider themselves more moderate or conservative members of the Democratic party.

Sanders and Biden are virtually tied in support from black voters at 26% and 24%, respectively. Bloomberg also does well in this field, pulling in 19% support from black voters.

Biden and Sanders are also neck and neck among moderate and conservative voters, with each candidate earning just shy of a third of support from the less liberal wing of the party in California.

A day before California holds its primary contest, however, a sizeable chunk of voters say they could still see themselves changing their minds. The poll reports that 37% of California voters say they could still jump ship regarding which candidate to support in the remaining hours before Super Tuesday, while 63% say they are locked in.

On the other side of the county, a High Point University Poll released Monday also points to good news for Sanders in North Carolina. The poll shows that Sanders currently leads his Democratic rivals in the Tar Heel State with 31% support. This puts the senator 13 points ahead of his closest rival, Bloomberg (18%). Biden comes in third in the state with 14% support while Warren comes in fourth with 11%.

No other candidate cracked double digits in North Carolina.

North Carolina could prove highly influential in the Democratic primary on Super Tuesday with the third-highest delegate pot up for grabs behind California and Texas. With a total of 14 states holding primaries on Super Tuesday and each candidate looking to scoop up delegates wherever they can, states flush with delegates are certainly going to be critical for the candidates left in the race.

The California Emerson College/Nexstar poll had a sample size of 545 with a 4.1% margin of error. The High Point University Poll had a sample size of 1,216 and 3.4% margin of error.

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