Fox News Poll: Trump leads in California, Clinton-Sanders in close race

Republican Donald Trump holds a big lead in California, in a new Fox News Poll, while Hillary Clinton has a razor-thin edge over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race.

Trump captures 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters.  That’s more than the combined support for his two remaining competitors:  Ted Cruz receives 22 percent and John Kasich 20 percent.

The mogul leads his rivals by a wide margin among every demographic group, including those he sometimes has trouble capturing:  women, young voters, college graduates, and very conservatives.

Clinton is up by just two points over Sanders among California likely Democratic primary voters (48-46 percent).


A couple things are in Clinton’s favor.  Among the subgroup of those saying they will “definitely” vote, her advantage increases to six points.  Plus, support for Sanders is somewhat softer: 21 percent of his backers say they could change their mind compared to 14 percent of Clinton’s.

The gender gap persists.  Men break for Sanders by 22 points (58-36 percent), while women favor Clinton by 25 (59-34 percent).

Meanwhile, the Vermont senator continues to receive strong support from younger voters (+56 points among voters under age 35), while Clinton remains popular with seniors (+37 points among voters ages 65+).

Sanders has a 19-point advantage among Hispanics.  He won Hispanics in Nevada and Illinois according to Fox News exit polling, while they went for Clinton in Florida, New York, and Texas.

What if it’s ultimately a Clinton-Trump matchup in November?  Some 45 percent of Sanders supporters say they would either consider voting for a third-party candidate or not vote at all.

Same story on the Republican side.  Only 53 percent of Cruz and Kasich supporters say they would vote for Trump in the general election.  Instead, a large 42-percent minority would consider a third-party candidate or not vote rather than cast a ballot for Trump or Clinton.

Cruz would do a tad bit better than Trump at keeping the party faithful, faithful.  If it’s Clinton-Cruz in November, 56 percent of non-Cruz supporters would vote for him against Clinton, while 40 percent wouldn’t.

The Texas senator is helped by the fact that Kasich supporters are more likely to say he’s their second-choice candidate by a 20-point margin.

That could help Cruz in the primary as well, because more than one third of Kasich backers say their vote choice isn’t locked in (35 percent).  One quarter of Trump supporters (25 percent) and Cruz supporters (24 percent) say they could still change their mind.

The California primary is June 7.


Immigration -- a hot topic in the Golden State.  The poll asked California primary voters what should happen to illegal immigrants who are currently working in the United States.

By a 75-17 percent margin, they favor setting up a system for legalization rather than deportation.

Over half of Republican primary voters prefer finding a way to legalize illegal immigrants working here (59-30 percent), and almost all Democrats agree (90 percent system to legalize vs. 5 percent deport).

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The telephone poll (landline and cellphone) was conducted April 18-21, 2016, with live interviewers among a random sample of 1,206 California voters selected from a statewide voter file (plus or minus 2.5 percentage points).  Results for the 623 likely Democratic primary voters and the 583 likely Republican primary voters have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.