Clinton holds big lead over Sanders in California a week before primary - poll

Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders © Lucas Jackson
In California, site of a major June 7 presidential primary contest, Hillary Clinton is leading rival candidate Bernie Sanders by 13 points, according to a new poll. She also got the support of the Golden State's governor.

Clinton took in 51 percent support while Sanders, buoyed by a surge in primary wins of late despite Clinton's formidable delegate lead, received 38 percent in a new Hoover Institution Golden State poll.

Ahead of the California primary, Clinton stands just 73 Democratic Party delegates away from the number necessary  for the party's nomination — though pledged superdelegates, who are not related to primary votes, could hypothetically switch allegiance between now and the Democratic Party's national convention in late July.

Of a total 712 superdelegates, Clinton has 541 while Sanders has 43. Of a total 4,051 delegates, which are earned through primary votes across the nation, Clinton has 1,769 and Sanders has 1,499. A win in California's primary would deliver 475 delegates, partially apportioned by whichever candidate wins in each of the state's congressional districts.

The Hoover poll found that while Clinton has a 13-point lead over Sanders in California, Sanders has a massive 31-point edge with primary voters under the age of 30. Among voters who described themselves as having "no party preference," Sanders leads Clinton by 40 points. To justify his ongoing presence in the Democratic race despite trailing Clinton this late in the primary season, Sanders' campaign has pointed to these types of disparities in polling among young and independent voters, as well as other polling that has suggested Sanders does much better than Clinton in a head-to-head matchup with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"In virtually every state and national poll, we do much better than Trump than Secretary Clinton does," Sanders said Monday at a rally in Oakland.

The Hoover poll, conducted from early- to mid-May, found that Clinton would best Trump in a general election contest, leading the billionaire real-estate mogul 45 to 33 percent. The survey did not report figures for a potential matchup between Sanders and Trump.

Prior to the June 7 primary, Sanders has focused on the California's Bay Area, a region heavy on Democratic and left-leaning voters in the vast, politically-diverse state. On Monday, Sanders was in Oakland for a 20,000-person rally at the city's Frank Ogawa Plaza before attending a NBA playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Prior to the rally, Sanders also spoke to about 200 people at Allen Temple Baptist, an influential black church in Oakland. With a consistent populist, anti-poverty tone in his campaign, Sanders has sought to boost his appeal among the working class and people of color, especially in a diverse state like California. Sanders' rallies in the state last week were held in places like Bakersfield and Pomona, two cities with populations that are heavily Latino and working class.

On Tuesday, Sanders will appear in Emeryville, California, for a conference on healthcare, before heading to rallies in Santa Cruz and Monterey. On Wednesday, Sanders will continue rallying supporters in the Bay Area, appearing in Palo Alto and Davis.

In the coming days, Clinton, who on Monday picked up the endorsement of California Governor Jerry Brown, will appear at fundraisers in New York and New Jersey before heading to campaign in California later in the week.

Voters in California had to register by May 23 to participate in the primary.