Poll shows Trump gaining support among California Republicans for presidential nod

Poll shows Trump gaining support among California Republicans for presidential nod

A poll Monday found former President Donald Trump has gained support since last fall among California Republicans for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, which under new party rules adopted last summer could deliver him the state’s entire haul of delegates.

The poll by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found support among likely California Republican voters for Trump’s 2024 presidential bid has risen to 66% from 57% in the institute’s last poll on the question in late October, with none of his rivals for the nomination anywhere close.

The poll found 11% of Republican voters support Nikki Haley, the former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina governor, 8% back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and 3% favor entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Haley’s support inched up from last fall while DeSantis’ slipped and Ramaswamy’s was unchanged.

That could prove a significant boost to Trump’s campaign. The institute noted that last summer, the California GOP changed its rules for awarding delegates to the Republican National Convention. A Republican candidate who secures more than half of the statewide primary vote will now be awarded all of California’s 169 convention delegates, nearly 14% of the total needed for the GOP presidential nomination.

The poll found Trump is now receiving majority support across all major demographic and regional subgroups of the state’s Republican primary voter electorate, including 72% of GOP voters who supported him in 2020, strongly conservative voters, Latino Republicans, voters under age 40.

“The latest Berkeley IGS Poll finds former President Donald Trump in a strong position to achieve that threshold in the state’s upcoming March 5 presidential primary election,” the institute said in a statement on the findings. But it also added that the former president’s strong showing among California Republicans hardly reflects his popularity statewide.

Though Golden State voters’ enthusiasm has cooled for another Joe Biden presidential term, the Democratic president who defeated Trump by 30 percentage points in California in 2020 still would beat his predecessor in a rematch.

The poll found that California voters overall now hold mixed views of Biden with 50% having a favorable view of the president and 48% an unfavorable view, and that 53% disapprove of Biden’s job performance while 44% approve. But Californians opinions of Trump are nearly two-to-one negative, the poll found, with 34% overall holding a favorable view of the former president and 63% an unfavorable view.

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California voters overall also had more unfavorable than favorable views of presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a lawyer running an independent campaign, the Peace and Freedom party’s Cornel West and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, though most had no opinion of West or Stein.

The poll found that California voters would favor Biden over Trump 47% to 31% in a race that also includes Kennedy, West and Stein. If Trump were the only alternative to Biden, Californians would favor Biden 56% to 37%.

The poll was conducted online in English and Spanish Jan. 4-8 among 4,470 likely California voters including 1,351 considered likely to vote in the Republican primary election. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points for California likely voters and 3.5 percentage points for likely Republican primary voters.