California’s new GOP primary distribution, which grants all its delegates to a majority-backed candidate, has former President Donald Trump projected to sweep the largest U.S. state, the L.A. Times reported.
Trump is showing strong support in the deep-blue state, leading the GOP primary field by 39 points at 55% support, and he trails President Joe Biden by 20 points, according to the latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll.
“It’s a startling development given the fact that over the past year, there appeared to be sentiment among Republicans looking for an alternative to Trump,” Berkeley pollster Mark DiCamillo told the Times. “That has changed, and Trump is now the odds-on favorite.
“Capturing all of California’s delegates would give Trump a huge advantage over the rest of the field.”
Trump had lost California’s 55 delegates to Biden in the 2020 presidential election – the largest haul among U.S. states – losing by 30 points (64%-34%). Biden’s support is down to 51%, while Trump roughly steady in this poll from his 2020 support.
Both of Trump’s chief political rivals, Biden and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis are showing vulnerability in the state that amounts to 14% of the primary delegates needed to become the GOP presidential nominee. Trump has gained 11 points since March’s poll and 26 points since February, according to the Times.
“Californians have turned away, by and large, from DeSantis,” DiCamillo told the Times. “The biggest beneficiary of DeSantis’ decline is the former president. There’s no question he’s well-liked by the Republican base.”
DeSantis had 37% support in February, long before the indictments racked up against Trump. DeSantis had held an 8-point lead over Trump (29%).
“Despite California’s well-deserved reputation as a deeply blue state in general elections, because of its sheer size with over 5 million registered Republicans it possesses the largest number of GOP voters in the nation,” DiCamillo wrote in his poll analysis.
“And because of this it will send the largest bloc of delegates to the 2024 Republican National Convention of any state, 169 delegates in all. This means that if the state’s Republican electorate continues to back Trump at its current level they would be providing him with nearly 14% of all the delegates he would need to capture the GOP nomination.”
The full GOP primary results in the poll:
- Trump 55%
- DeSantis 16%
- Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley 7%
- Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy 4%
- Former VP Mike Pence 3%
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 3%
- Sen. Tim Scott 2%
- Conservative broadcaster Larry Elder 1%
There were 9% for “other/undecided.”
Two of Biden’s key vulnerabilities in the general election are younger voters and potential third-party candidates, according to DiCamillo.
“If the choices for president in November were Biden and Trump, many California votes say they would be open to the possibility of voting for a third-party candidate,” he wrote in his analysis. “Nearly half of the state’s voters (47%) say they would be ‘very open’ (24%) or ‘somewhat open’ (23%) to this possibility. This compares to 36% of the electorate who would not be open to a third-party candidate and 17% who say it depends on who the candidate is.
“Majorities of political moderates (62%) and non-partisans (65%) report being very or somewhat open to supporting a third-party candidate if Biden and Trump are the nominees next year.
“Younger voters are also more likely than older voters to say they would be open to a third-party presidential candidate in November if Biden and Trump are the choices. Greater than six in 10 voters under age 30 (62%) report this, while among voters ages 65 or older just 38% say this.”
UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies conducted the Aug. 24-29 poll for the L.A. Times among 6,030 registered California voters, including 2,833 likely California Democrat primary voters and 1,175 likely California GOP primary voters. The margins of error are plus or minus 2 percentage points for the full sample, plus or minus 3 percentage points for the likely Democrat primary voters, and plus or minus 4 percentage points for the likely GOP primary voters.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016, starting on the first night of the Republican National Convention. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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