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California Poll Reveals Trump’s Strong Lead Ahead of GOP Primary

A recent poll conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, indicates that former President Donald Trump enjoys substantial support in California’s Republican primary.

2/3rd Republicans Support Trump

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With the state being one of 15 holding primaries on March 5, the poll reveals that Trump has secured the backing of two-thirds of likely Republican primary voters in California, marking an increase from 57% in October. This significant support could have a substantial impact on Trump’s quest for the Republican nomination.

California’s Critical Role

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California has become a crucial battleground for Republican presidential hopefuls due to new “winner-take-all” rules established by the California Republican Party. These rules allocate all 169 delegates to the candidate who secures more than 50% of the vote, offering a substantial delegate haul that accounts for nearly 14% of the total needed to secure the Republican nomination.

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Trump’s Commanding Lead

The latest poll suggests that Trump holds a commanding lead not only in California but also in several other Super Tuesday states, where over one-third of GOP convention delegates will be determined. Trump’s strategists aim to secure enough delegates on Super Tuesday to render the nomination uncontested, potentially before his scheduled criminal trials begin.

Nikki Haley’s Distant Second

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Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley emerges as Trump’s closest competitor in California, albeit in a distant second place. The poll reveals that she enjoys support from only 11% of likely Republican voters in the state. Her campaign supporters hope that strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire could boost her momentum to challenge Trump effectively.

Challenges Faced by Haley

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However, the poll underscores the difficulties Haley may encounter in gaining ground against Trump. She garners the most support among California Republicans who describe themselves as moderate or liberal and those with a postgraduate education. In contrast, her backing among self-described “strongly conservative” voters, who wield significant influence in Republican primaries, is just 5%.

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Ron DeSantis’ Decline

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who once led Trump in California polls, has seen a sharp decline in support, currently being the choice of only 8% of likely Republican voters in the state.

Mixed Reception for Biden

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. 24th March 2022. Joe Biden, President of United States of America, during press conference after NATO extraordinary SUMMIT 2022. — Photo by gints.ivuskans

The poll also evaluates the reception of President Joe Biden in California. While half of California voters have a favorable view of Biden, 48% hold an unfavorable view. Biden’s job approval among registered voters remains at 44% approval and 52% disapproval, with no significant shift since October. Biden faces challenges in retaining the support of young voters and Latinos in the state.

Hypothetical Scenarios

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The poll explores hypothetical scenarios involving Biden, Trump, and potential third-party candidates. In a five-candidate field, including Cornel West, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Jill Stein, Biden leads Trump by 16 points. However, without third-party candidates, Biden’s lead over Trump expands to 19 points.

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Other Candidates’ Performance

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Kennedy, running as an independent, has garnered double-digit support in some swing state polls, but he polls at 6% among likely voters in California. On the other hand, progressive activist Cornel West, also running as an independent, is less known among California voters, with 15% viewing him favorably and 27% unfavorably.

Poll Methodology

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The Berkeley IGS poll was conducted online from January 4-8, with a random sample of 8,199 registered voters, including 4,470 likely primary voters and 1,351 likely Republican primary voters. The results were weighted to match census and voter registration benchmarks, with an estimated margin of error of 2 percentage points for the full likely voter sample and 3.5 percentage points for the Republican primary sample.

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