FILE - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is outpacing his closest rival in California by a 2-1 margin, according to the latest poll from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies conducted on behalf of the Los Angeles Times.

California, with its 415 delegates, is one of 14 states that will hold its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, March 3.

In the poll of 3,000 likely voters, Sanders – a democratic socialist who supports taxpayer-funded Medicare for All including the elimination of private health care plans; tuition-free college including the elimination of all college debt; and the Green New Deal – was the top choice of 34 percent of respondents.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was a distant second, with 17 percent support. Despite spending tens of millions of dollars of his own money on campaign ads in the state, former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was third, with 12 percent support.

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg came in fourth at 11 percent, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden with 8 percent support.

Only those candidates who receive at least 15 percent of the vote in Super Tuesday's primary in California are eligible to receive any of the state's 415 delegates, so a big win there could solidify Sanders' status as front-runner.

"Based on his 34% support in the poll, this state alone likely will give him well over 10% of the 1,990 delegates he would need to win the nomination at the national convention this summer," the Los Angeles Times reported.

The poll was conducted from Feb. 20-25.

– The Center Square

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at dmccaleb@thecentersquare.com.

Executive Editor

Dan McCaleb is a veteran editor and has worked in journalism for more than 25 years. Most recently, McCaleb served as editorial director of Shaw Media and the top editor of the award-winning Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago.