Political Polling in California: Wave 2

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Washington, DC - In the October 2-4 Reuters poll of California voters, we find that Democrats maintain a slim lead in the major statewide elections while the majority of Californians continue to worry about the state of the state and the country more generally.

  • In the race for the U.S. Senate, Barbara Boxer leads Carly Fiorina by 49% to 45% (including leaners) among likely voters. The margin of +4 percentage points is right at the margin of error and indicates how close this race remains.
  • In the race for Governor, Jerry Brown holds a lead of 50% to Meg Whitman’s 43% (including leaners) among likely voters.
    • When asked if business experience is a positive for office seekers, most registered voters (49%) say it makes no difference. A large minority (33%) say it is a positive. Among Republicans, a majority (61%) say it is a positive.
    • When asked what personal attributes will help the next governor control the budget, most voters (43%) focus on “an understanding of the economy”. This combined with the business experience should give Meg Whitman a slight advantage. 43% of Independents say this statement applies more to Whitman versus 25% ascribing it to Jerry Brown.
    • The majority of registered voters (88%) have heard the allegations that Whitman hired an undocumented worker. However, most (72%) say the information makes no difference in the way they plan to vote.
  • In both races, the Democratic candidates are benefitting from Democrats large advantage among registered voters.
  • Speaking of voters, enthusiasm about the election among Democrats has improved from June. Currently 75% of Democrats say they are certain to vote compared to 60% in June. Republicans have also increased in enthusiasm (from 73% in June to 83% now).

Regarding the state of the state and ballot issues:

  • Only 13% of registered voters thing California is headed in the right direction – down from 16% in June.
  • Contributing to the wrong direction people feel California is headed in, only 31% approve of the job Governor Schwarzenegger is doing.
  • A slim majority (53%) oppose legalization of Marijuana in Prop 19.
  • A plurality (49%) oppose weakening California’s environmental laws in Prop 23. However, there remains a large block that is undecided (14%).
  • A solid majority (58%) are in favor of making it easier for the CA legislature to set the budget – and docking their pay if they do not – in Prop 25.

More data and full technical details are available in the topline document available for download to the right.

For more information on this press release, please contact:
Chris Jackson
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs

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Political Polling in California: Wave 2

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Topline Results


Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs