- REUTERS/Mike Blake
Sen. Bernie Sanders appears to be closing in on Hillary Clinton in California, which holds the last major battle of the presidential primaries early next month.
A new Public Policy Institute survey of California released on Thursday found Sanders within two points of the former secretary of state, who garnered 46% support among likely Democratic primary voters.
As in other contests, a Clinton win will likely depend on her strength among older voters and minorities.
Sanders held leads among younger voters and more liberal voters by wide margins. But Clinton had a 10-point lead among Latino voters, who make up a larger share of the electorate in California than in most other states.
Despite losing some of its top staffers in the state, Sanders has attempted to make a final stand in California.
The senator has challenged Clinton and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to a debate in the state before the June 7 primary. Both Democratic candidates are pumping more than a million dollars of ads into the state, though experts say that the expensive nature of advertising in California calls into question the effectiveness of ads.
Though observers contend that a Sanders win in the state would further cast doubt on Clinton’s strength as a nominee, it would remain virtually impossible for Sanders to clinch the nomination.
The former secretary of state holds large leads in pledged delegates, so-called superdelegates, and popular votes. And, as FiveThirtyEight notes, she could reach the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination before the polls even close in the Golden State.