- Reuters/Carlo Allegri
Another poll has found Bernie Sanders closing in on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the California primary, indicating a razor-thin race to the finish in the crucial state.
A Field poll released Thursday put the Vermont senator within striking distance of Clinton.
The survey found 45% of likely primary voters supporting Clinton and 43% supporting Sanders. That was within the poll’s 4% margin of error for likely Democratic voters.
The Field poll noted that Clinton had an 11-point lead over Sanders in January and a 6-point lead in early April.
The survey provided more evidence of a tightening California race. Another poll released Wednesday night showed a similarly narrow Clinton lead. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll found 49% of voters supporting Clinton and 47% supporting Sanders.
Sanders is depending on a victory in California on June 7 to keep his candidacy alive. California offers 475 pledged delegates, the biggest haul of any state.
But even if Clinton lost in California, she appears likely to still lock down the nomination next week on the strength of superdelegates who have already pledged to support her. And like other Democratic primaries, California splits its delegates proportionally, so a close victory by either candidate will do little to change the delegate math.
Still, a loss in the nation’s biggest state could underscore Sanders’ case that superdelegates should switch their support to him ahead of the Democratic National Convention in July. He could also use a victory in California to push for more influence on the party’s platform.
As the race has tightened, Clinton has dedicated more time to campaigning in California. She cut a campaign trip to New Jersey short so that she could spend more time in the Golden State, The Wall Street Journal reported.
And she’s set to deliver a major foreign-policy address in the state on Thursday. She’ll be looking ahead to the general election and attacking her likely Republican rival in the presidential race, Donald Trump, on national security.
Mark Abadi contributed to this report.