Young vot­ers like San­ders

San Francisco Chronicle - - BAY AREA - John Wil­der­muth is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: jwil­der­muth @sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @jfwil­der­muth

and Warren’s num­bers were un­changed.

“Their num­bers didn’t move at all, even with other can­di­dates drop­ping out,” Bal­das­sare said.

Much of San­ders’ boost comes from his pop­u­lar­ity with younger vot­ers. Among vot­ers ages 18 to 44, San­ders is the first choice of 45% of those sur­veyed, com­pared with 25% for Warren and 12% for Bi­den.

The or­der is re­versed for vot­ers 45 and older, with Bi­den at 32%, Warren at 22% and San­ders at 15%.

“There’s a huge age gap, with younger vot­ers sup­port­ing San­ders in big num­bers,” Bal­das­sare said. “That could have im­pli­ca­tions for the turnout in March if hav­ing San­ders on the bal­lot brings out more young vot­ers.”

But sup­port for San­ders, who lists him­self as a demo­cratic so­cial­ist, plum­meted when likely vot­ers were asked which Demo­crat had the best chance of beat­ing Pres­i­dent Trump in Novem­ber. Bi­den moved to the top at 46%, with San­ders at 25% and Warren at 10%.

“Electabil­ity was very im­por­tant to the peo­ple we talked to,” Bal­das­sare said.

Cal­i­for­nia’s 430 del­e­gates are the sin­gle big

gest prize among the 14 states vot­ing on Su­per Tues­day. But it’s very pos­si­ble they’ll be spread among sev­eral con­tenders.

Un­der the Cal­i­for­nia Demo­cratic Party rules, 159 del­e­gates are divvied up in the statewide vote, while 271 oth­ers are set by the re­sults in each of the state’s 53 con­gres­sional dis­tricts. And since del­e­gates are awarded pro­por­tion­ally, with each can­di­date col­lect­ing at least 15% of the vote get­ting a share of del­e­gates, one can­di­date con­ceiv­ably could win the state

wide vote but end up with fewer del­e­gates than some­one whose sup­port was bet­ter spread through­out the state.

The Pub­lic Pol­icy In­sti­tute of Cal­i­for­nia’s poll, which was taken from Jan. 3 to Jan. 12, tested the can­di­dates who had qual­i­fied for Tues­day night’s pres­i­den­tial de­bate in Iowa. But it missed Cal­i­for­nia busi­ness­man Tom Steyer, who qual­i­fied for the de­bate stage a day be­fore last week’s dead­line.

Peo­ple sur­veyed were asked to vol­un­teer the name of any other can­di­dates they sup­ported, but only busi­ness­man An­drew Yang made much of a mark, with 3% back­ing.

Steyer and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg didn’t reg­is­ter in the vol­un­teered polling num­bers, Bal­das­sare said.

The poll of 530 likely Demo­cratic pri­mary vot­ers had a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or mi­nus 6.5 per­cent­age points.

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