In California, Clinton’s popularity falls and Sanders’ rises

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UNITED STATES - JANUARY 16: Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. holds a news conference on the budget on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 16: Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. holds a news conference on the budget on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES – JANUARY 16: Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. holds a news conference on the budget on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
HillaHillary Rodham Clinton remains the top choice for president among registered Democratic voters in solidly blue California, but her support is spiraling downward, according to a new poll.

The former secretary of State is favored by 47% of the California Democrats who are likely to vote in the primary, down from the 73% who supported her in February. At the same time, support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has risen sharply to 35% from 10% in February.

Clinton’s strongest support, according to the poll, comes from Latinos and voters who are 65 or older. Sanders is supported most by voters identifying themselves as “strongly liberal” and among voters ages 18 through 39, basically matching Clinton’s popularity among those groups.

Of the California Democratic voters polled, 63% thought it would be good for the party if Vice President Joe Biden entered the presidential race, but only 15% said they would back him.

Clinton won California in the 2008 presidential primary, with 51.5% of the vote; then-Sen. Barack Obama got 43.2%.

The Field Poll surveyed 1,002 registered voters in California from Sept. 17 through Sunday. The survey’s maximum margin of potential sampling error was 5 percentage points in either direction.

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