Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton lead rivals handily in California, poll finds. Donald Trump may be unpopular with a majority of California Republicans, but the presidential hopeful is poised to dominate the California primary over GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, according to an ABC7-Southern California News Group poll released Monday.
The survey also showed Hillary Clinton with a double-digit lead over Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination, and it revealed there is very little chance for Republicans to capture the seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Boxer, as two Democrats appear set to move forward to the general election after the June 7 primary.
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Despite the survey’s findings that reveal Trump is viewed extremely negatively by 51 percent of registered California voters, he is the preferred candidate by 54 percent of likely GOP voters. Cruz is favored by 20 percent of likely voters and Kasich trails with 16 percent.
The real drama for the California primary will be if Trump can secure the party nomination by collecting enough of the state’s 172 delegates to reach the 1,237 needed to avoid a contested convention in Cleveland this summer. Currently, Trump leads Cruz 996 to 565 in delegates.
“I think there is a resignation among California Republicans that Trump is the likely nominee,” said USC political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe. “I felt that up at the (California Republican Party) convention in Burlingame this weekend. None of the three candidates generated much enthusiasm.”
The poll results may also place extra pressure on Cruz to perform well in today’s Indiana primary, where recent surveys show his support flagging in the face of Trump’s momentum. The GOP frontrunner has continued to generate momentum after winning a slate of primaries over the last two weeks, including in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
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His appearances at a large rally in Costa Mesa and the Republican state party convention outside of San Francisco also bolstered his claims to be the “presumptive nominee.”
Sanders appears to have lost traction since Clinton took four out of five primaries in the Northeast on April 26, and his campaign laid off hundreds of workers in the wake of those defeats. The Vermont senator recently opened two official state offices in Los Angeles and Oakland, but his 19-point deficit to Clinton in California is the largest he’s faced since polling has been done in California this year.