New Poll Puts Trump in Position to Win All California Delegates

Former President Donald Trump is leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination in California, according to a new poll released on Monday. The poll, conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, shows that Trump has the support of 66% of likely GOP voters in the state, far ahead of his closest rivals, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (11%) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (8%).


California is the most populous state in the nation and has the largest number of delegates to the Republican National Convention, with 169 spots representing 14% of the total needed to win the nomination. The state’s Republican Party changed its rules last summer, adopting a winner-take-all system that awards all the delegates to the candidate who gets more than 50% of the primary vote. Under the previous rules, candidates could win three delegates in each congressional district, allowing them to target specific regions and demographics.

California is part of Super Tuesday on March 5, 2024, when 15 states and territories will hold their primaries or caucuses. The state has traditionally been a Democratic stronghold, with the last Republican presidential candidate to win its electoral votes being George H.W. Bush in 1988. However, the state also has a sizable and diverse Republican base, with about 5.3 million registered GOP voters as of December 2020.


The poll results indicate that Trump has a strong and loyal following among California Republicans, who have not been swayed by his defeat in the 2020 election or the subsequent events, such as the Capitol riot and his second impeachment. Trump’s dominance is especially evident among certain groups of GOP voters, such as those who supported him in 2016 (72%), strong conservatives (78%), Latino Republicans (77%), voters under age 40 (70%), and GOP voters in the Inland Empire (73%).

The poll also suggests that Trump’s potential challengers have not been able to gain much traction or visibility in the state, despite some of them making visits or holding events there. Haley, who polled second, has been the most active in California, launching a political action committee and endorsing local candidates. DeSantis, who polled third, has seen his national profile rise due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida, but has not made any significant outreach to California voters. Other candidates, such as businessman Vivek Ramaswamy (3%), former Vice President Mike Pence (2%), and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (1%), have barely registered in the poll.

The poll also reveals some challenges and opportunities for both Trump and his rivals in California. For Trump, the challenge is to maintain his lead and secure more than 50% of the vote, which would give him a huge boost in the delegate count and the momentum for the nomination. However, he also faces the risk of losing some support if he faces more legal troubles, such as the ongoing investigations in New York and Georgia, or if he alienates some moderate or independent voters with his rhetoric and actions.

For his rivals, the opportunity is to try to prevent Trump from reaching the 50% threshold and force a proportional allocation of the delegates, which would give them a chance to stay in the race and challenge him in other states. However, they also face the difficulty of breaking through Trump’s dominance and appealing to the diverse and divided Republican electorate in California, which includes conservatives, moderates, libertarians, evangelicals, and ethnic minorities.


The new poll shows that Trump is in a commanding position to win all the California delegates and cement his status as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. However, the poll also indicates that the race is not over yet, and that Trump’s rivals still have a chance to make a dent in his lead and challenge him in the state and beyond. The California primary will be a crucial test for both Trump and his opponents, as it will shape the dynamics and direction of the Republican Party and the 2024 presidential election.

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