UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, or IGS, released two new polls last week highlighting emerging voter preferences toward party candidates in California’s 2020 primary races, honing in on the sentiments of likely voters.
The first poll, released Wednesday, showed that Californians likely to vote in the March Democratic primaries favor Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, over other Democratic candidates. The second poll, which came out the following day, found that 62 percent of young California Republicans would like to see a challenger face off against President Donald Trump in March.
Although Republicans under 40 agree that Trump should face an opponent for the party’s candidacy, when surveyed regardless of their age, the majority of Republican voters statewide disagreed.
The IGS poll that analyzed likely Republican voters found “slippage” occurring within portions of Trump’s base, with declines in support among evangelical Christian, white non-Hispanic and “very conservative” Californians.
“While we welcome Republican members who are critical of President Trump and want to see him challenged in the 2020 primaries, the vast majority of our rank and file membership approves of the job President Trump has done in his first term,” said campus senior Rudra Reddy, a former columnist for The Daily Californian and current external vice president of Berkeley College Republicans, in an email. “However, we believe that when his positions are contrasted with a radically progressive Democratic nominee next year, President Trump will be well placed to secure reelection.”
The other poll shows Warren leading in California’s Democratic primary race with 29 percent of likely voters selecting her as their first choice candidate, an 11 percent increase since the last IGS poll in June. Former vice president Joe Biden is currently the second-most popular contender with 20 percent of voter support.
“I think it shows that she’s disproving the idea that she, and women in general, aren’t ‘electable,’” said Kylie Murdock, campus senior and co-president of Berkeley for Warren, in an email. “She’s been gaining rapidly in the polls for months now and we think her numbers will only keep increasing.”
According to reports written by Mark DiCamillo, the IGS director, both surveys were conducted by email over a five-day period, each with sample sizes of 4,527 registered voters.
The poll also shows that Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, has lost support in her home state since the last poll was conducted in June. According to DiCamillo’s report, Harris, who is trailing at 8 percent, is at risk of not winning any California delegates to the Democratic National Convention, as the state requires candidates to reach at least 15 percent of the vote in primary elections to gain delegates.
“I think the race has become nationalized in many ways,” DiCamillo said. “That’s probably why you’re seeing the declining numbers for Harris.”
Contact Emma Rooholfada and Jacob Souza at [email protected].