New Berkeley IGS Poll shows Warren steaming ahead in Calif. primary

warren at a podium that says california democrats

Elizabeth Warren spoke at California's Democratic Convention in July 2019. She leads the pack of candidates, according to a new UC Berkeley poll. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, shared via Creative Commons 2.0)

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has pulled into the lead among voters likely to participate in California’s Democratic primary, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll.

Warren is the first choice for 29% of likely voters, up 11 percentage points since the last Berkeley IGS Poll in June. She leads former vice president Joe Biden, who was the favorite of 20% of those polled and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has support from 19% of likely voters. 

The poll also showed that California Senator Kamala Harris is struggling to attract support from her home-state voters. Harris, who was elected to the Senate in 2016, was the first choice of just 8% of likely voters, down from 13% in June. 

Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley IGS Poll, said the results showed that Warren seemed to be attracting voters that used to support Harris, Biden or Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. 

“It is noteworthy that Warren’s growing base of support has come from the ranks of those formerly supporting Harris, Buttigeg and Biden,” he said. “Thus far, Californians who are backing Sanders have been sticking with their man.”

The poll also asked voters who they would consider as second-choice candidates. Warren is the first or second choice for 54% of those polled, while Biden and Sanders are tied at 33%. Harris is the first or second choice for 21% of likely voters. 

The poll of 4,527 registered voters was conducted online in English and Spanish from Sept. 13 to Sept. 18. Roughly 2,200 voters were identified as likely to participate in California’s March 3, 2020 primary. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.

Read the complete Berkeley IGS Poll results