A new Emerson College Polling/Inside California Politics poll released on Tuesday found that President Joe Biden currently has a commanding lead amongst Democrats in California while former President Donald Trump is currently ahead amongst Republicans.
Last year, polls in California found that Trump had a large lead over other candidates in being chosen as a nominee. A CPAC poll among likely Republican voters in July found that 69% were in favor of Trump while only 24% were in favor of DeSantis, while a similar IGS poll in August had Trump up over DeSantis 38%-27%. However, concerns over Trumps viability in 2024 and DeSantis’ rising popularity since late 2022 led to popularity flips in several states across the U.S. according to newer polls.
This year, polls had largely flipped the table, with a February IGS poll showing DeSantis finally leading Trump 37% to 29%. All the while for Democrats, Biden has led declared candidates such as Robert Kennedy Jr. and speculative candidates such as Governor Gavin Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris. However, previous polls showed that, if Newsom was to run, the Democratic race would be close, as Biden’s current 41.2% approval rate is the second lowest amongst presidents at this time during their term, with only President Jimmy Carter having scored lower.
The new Emerson College poll on Tuesday brought more of the same news for Democrats while bringing a new shift for Republicans. For the GOP, the poll found that 53% of Californian Republicans plan to vote for former President Trump, with 19% supporting Florida Governor DeSantis, 10% behind former Vice President Mike Pence, 6% supporting former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and 4% supporting Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). However, it should be noted that the poll was taken before the entrance of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into the race, as well as the indictment of Donald Trump.
“Trump’s base continues to be voters under 50 and those without a college degree, while DeSantis performs strongest among voters over 50 and those with a college degree, but still trails Trump,” noted Executive Director of Emerson College Polling Spencer Kimball on Tuesday. “Trump leads DeSantis 60% to 14% among those under 50 compared to 49% to 21% among those over 50. Among voters without a college degree, Trump leads DeSantis 62% to 15%, compared to those with a college degree where he leads 46% to 25%.”
For the Democrats, Biden once again had a commanding lead, grabbing 72% of Democrats, while 17% support Robert Kennedy Jr. and 7% support Marianne Williamson. Other candidates scored only 5%. The poll also did not include potential speculative candidates such as Newsom, Harris, and others as no official run announcement has been given.
CALIFORNIA POLL with @CAinsider
— Emerson College Polling (@EmersonPolling) June 13, 2023
“President Biden’s highest approval continues to be among Black voters, 66% of whom approve of the job he is doing in office. This compares to 46% of Asian voters, 43% of White voters, and 40% of Hispanic voters,” added Kimball.
Biden, Trump Currently ahead in CA
Elections experts noted to the Globe on Tuesday that 2024 Presidential polls were still very preliminary, as many factors could bring new candidates into the race throughout 2023 and even into 2024 before the primaries and caucuses.
“Both parties have major worries with their top candidates right now,” explained Laura Chaffee, an elections analyst in Washington, DC, to the Globe on Tuesday. “For the GOP, Trump being indicted today could lead to a huge shift of support, especially if he is found guilty and has to serve time in prison or if he gets some other punishment. DeSantis could very well make a comeback, as could Pence, as could another candidate. Trump is still popular amongst Republicans in California, but if things shift, they could need to back someone else. And remember, for as Democratically controlled California is, there is a huge number of Republicans in the state too, and the California primary is incredibly important for any candidate.
“On the Democrats side, Biden is showing his age and is very unpopular right now. Everyone says they are backing him, but if something happens later this year, especially a health scare, you could see a lot of Democrats jump in the race. The most speculated on is Newsom, as he is obviously making some moves now that would have him come in as a major candidate. Only hold up for him right now is having promised not to run in 2024. The party probably sat down with him and asked him not to run, as trying to unseat a one term president from within the party isn’t a great look. But if Biden falters, and his approval rating goes below 40%, and the GOP gets a very strong polling candidate, Newsom could come in as a new candidate. It would be a risk, but primary-wise, he is popular in many states, and would likely win California and many early primary states.”
“It’s Trump and Biden for now in California according to the poll, but it can very much change.”
More 2024 Presidential candidate support polls for California will likely come in the next several months.
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