A new UC Berkeley poll has Bernie Sanders rising to the top spot in California, followed by Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden in 3rd.
In the same Poll, Biden held the top spot in June and the #2 spot in September.
Thursday, former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Biden.
LA Times reports the Democratic presidential contest in California remains extremely fluid — but not enough, at least so far, to provide an opening for Michael Bloomberg, who entered the race two weeks ago and was banking on winning big in the delegate-rich state, a new poll for the Los Angeles Times has found.
The survey by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found that both Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — the commanding front-runner in a September California poll — and former Vice President Joe Biden have lost ground among the state’s likely Democratic primary voters over the last two months.
That erosion has benefited Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who narrowly tops the primary field, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., who doubled his support since the September poll.
With less than two months before voting starts in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses and three months before California’s March 3 primary, “the race is really unusually fluid,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley IGS poll of voters likely to go to the polls in the Democratic primary.
“Voters are struggling and not sticking with their candidates,” he said. “They are moving around from candidate to candidate.”
Bloomberg appears ill-equipped to break into the mix. The poll, which was taken Nov. 21-27, just as Bloomberg started advertising in California and elsewhere on Nov. 25, found that he began his campaign with one of the most negative images of any candidate in the field. About 40% of the likely Democratic primary voters surveyed viewed him negatively, and just 15% had a positive impression.
“That’s a hole he’s going to have to dig out of and reintroduce himself to voters,” said DiCamillo. “It’s going to be tough.”
The upshot of the poll is that the field’s most liberal candidates, Warren and Sanders, are in a statistical tie for first place. The leading candidates making a more moderate pitch, Biden and Buttigieg, are lagging and essentially tied for third place.
Sanders is in the nominal lead, as the first-choice pick of 24%; Warren is the first pick of 22%. That is a big change from September, when she led the field with 29%.
Biden is the first choice of 14%, down six points from September. Buttigieg is preferred by 12%, up six points from September.
The poll was taken before California Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out of the race. It asked whom her supporters would name as their second choice if she quit and found that Warren and Biden would benefit the most. If Harris voters were reallocated based on those responses, the race would tighten at the top to Sanders, 25%; Warren, 24%; Biden, 17%; Buttigieg, 13%.