While Democratic primary voters in California and Colorado may be warming up to socialism, a new poll in Florida shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) getting crushed in the state's upcoming primary election on March 10.
According to a statewide survey of Democratic primary voters by St. Pete Polls, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a whopping 49-point lead over his democratic socialist rival in the Sunshine State, 61% to 12%. The poll, which was conducted March 4, included Democratic candidates Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) before they suspended their campaigns, which could mean that Biden's lead could be even larger than the poll indicates.
Endorsements from Latin American leftists resurface
The poll results follow weeks of controversies surrounding Sanders' campaign after the one-time front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination maintained his praise for the literacy programs of late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during a Feb. 23 interview on "60 Minutes."
Sanders' pro-Castro comments were blasted by fellow Democratic lawmakers, including Florida Reps. Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Even former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, who campaigned with Sanders during the 2018 Democratic primary, has criticized Sanders' comments.
In the weeks since Sanders' remarks, videos have resurfaced of Latin American leftists praising Sanders, including Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro and Fidel Castro's niece, Mariela Castro. In one of the videos from June 2016, Maduro described the presidential candidate as "a revolutionary friend," echoing similar comments made by Nicaraguan ruler Daniel Ortega in August. Meanwhile, Diario de Cuba reported Feb. 27 that during a 2016 interview, Mariela Castro said that she would vote for Sanders if she were a U.S. citizen.
Unpopular in Florida across all demographic groups
Sanders' unpopularity in Florida is not surprising given the state's large anti-socialist Hispanic electorate, including many Cuban, Venezuelan, and Nicaraguan voters who fled far-left regimes.
While Sanders has dominated the Latino vote in other primary states, the survey by St. Pete Polls shows him significantly under-performing his rivals among this demographic. Florida Hispanics prefer Biden over Sanders by a 59.9% to 9.5% margin. The former vice president also crushes Sanders among black voters in Florida, 67.9% to 8.5%.
Although the Vermont democratic socialist has argued that his campaign is uniquely positioned to defeat President Trump in a general election given Sanders' ability to turn out young voters, the Florida poll suggests that doing so would actually hurt him since he trails Biden by 47 points, 60.7% to 13.5% among 18- to 29-year-olds.
An analysis by FiveThirtyEight only gives Sanders an 8% chance of obtaining the necessary 1,991 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination prior to the party's convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this summer.