Bernie Sanders Takes 18-Point Lead In California Primary As Other Candidates Remain Below Delegate Threshold

A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders holding an 18-point lead in the state's primary with 32 percent support. Per The Mercury News, his closest competitor is former Vice President Joe Biden with 14 percent support, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 13 percent. Tied for fourth are former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 12 percent support.

As of now, only Sanders is above the 15 percent threshold required to gain statewide delegates, which leaves open the possibility of the 78-year-old politician sweeping the state. However, other contenders can still win delegates if they hit the threshold in individual congressional districts.

As noted by The Mercury News, the poll reveals a few significant shifts in the dynamic of the primary.

"The poll shows Bloomberg and Buttigieg with the largest leaps over their past showings — Buttigieg was at 6 percent in PPIC's poll from last month, while Bloomberg was at less than 1 percent, although he was not included in the January poll's questionnaire. Meanwhile, Biden and Warren have dropped significantly after getting 24 and 23 percent, respectively, in last month's poll."
The survey comes just two weeks before California's primary, which is set for March 3. As of now, almost 1 million residents have already cast their ballots, and millions more will continue to do so as the primary approaches early next month, The Sacramento Bee reports.
As reported by Vox, Sanders is also leading in Texas, with a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll showing the Medicare for All advocate at the top of the pack with 24 percent support. Biden is not far behind with 22 percent support, and Warren is further down with 15 percent.

The publication notes that California and Texas are the two most important states on Super Tuesday.

"Almost one out of every five delegates — 17 percent — will be won on March 3, Super Tuesday, in California and Texas," the report reads. "The former has 416, the most in the country; the latter has 261, the third most."

A new NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll also held good news for Sanders, putting him in the lead with 31 percent support. The survey marks the first time a Democratic presidential nominee has hit 30 percent in a national poll.

The poll also revealed a surge for Bloomberg, who was Sanders' closet competitor with 19 percent support. Biden trailed in third with 15 percent support, followed by Warren in fourth with 12 percent, and Amy Klobuchar in fifth with 9 percent.