Democrat Hillary Clinton’s lead over Bernie Sanders has diminished in California, while Republican Donald Trump is clinging to a slim advantage over Ted Cruz, according to a new USC Dornsife/LA Times poll.
Clinton leads Sanders 45 percent to 37 percent, but that’s down from the 16-point advantage she had in the same poll in September. Meanwhile, 37 percent of Republicans support Trump, 30 percent back Cruz and 12 percent like John Kasich. The results are similar to those of a separate poll released last week by the Public Policy Institute of California showing Trump at 38 percent, Cruz at 27 percent and Kasich at 14 percent.
Dan Schnur, director of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll, said it appears Trump may be hitting his ceiling in this state and nationally. While 35 percent to 40 percent of primary voters are strong supporters of his candidacy, “there is still great resistance among the majority of Republicans,” Schnur said.
Considerably fewer voters back Trump’s proposals to halt Muslim immigration and build a wall on the Mexican border. On his plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., which the billionaire businessman suggested after a round of terror strikes, some 72 percent oppose the plan, while just 22 percent support it. On the Mexican border fence, 66 percent of voters oppose it and 31 percent back it.
Assessing the Democratic dynamics, Schnur said Clinton’s challenge will be motivating Sanders loyalists to to turn out for her in the fall. She leads Sanders with Latinos, 52 percent to 37 percent. She also receives support from 71 percent of voters looking for a candidate with the “right experience” to be president.