As a predominantly Democratic state, California seems like a secured win for President Obama in the upcoming election. A recent poll conducted by USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times found that Obama is leading each Republican candidate by a fair margin. Nevertheless, the poll also found some sore spots in the president’s campaign.
“The greatest value of the poll is not so much to predict outcomes but rather to get a sense of the trends in voter behavior,” Unruh said in a phone interview. “We can get a sense of what’s most important to Californians.”
And what do voters care about most?
“They are very dissatisfied with the way he is handling the issue of gasoline prices,” Schnur said, adding that this will be Obama’s biggest hurdle in California.
“They think he’s doing a good job on issues relating to jobs and taxes [and] they tend to be a little more amiss on issues relating to immigration and the federal deficit. But neither one of those topics causes him significant problems,” said Schnur.
Interestingly, the president’s health care proposal, nicknamed “Obamacare” by his opponents, didn’t ignite a huge response from his supporters. However, his supporters did look favorably on his efforts regarding women’s health.
“It’s pretty clear that the recent debate over contraception has been a real benefit to him among California voters,” said Schnur.
Needless to say, health care has been a significant part of Obama’s reelection efforts, according to California’s campaign press secretary, Mary Nemick. “We are actively discussing healthcare reform across the country,” she said in an email.
Because California is so strongly Democratic, the state’s campaign has been less focused on addressing Californians’ concerns- like gasoline- and more targeted toward recruiting volunteers.
Based on the poll and strong volunteer support within California, it would seem that Obama is fairly secure as California’s chosen candidate. Even so, a lot can happen in the months leading up to election.
“Real world events change voters’ opinions,” Schnur warned. “If the Supreme Court rules one way or the other on the health care package, that’s going to affect the poll. If gasoline prices go higher or lower, that’s going to affect the poll. If the economy gets better or worse, that’s going to affect what voters think. There’s no question that real world events over the next several months are going to impact what people think.”
Hmm, anyone this the recent Occupy protests have had any effect on this? Just wondering. - Monica, Neon Tommy
President Obama’s new rhetoric is starting to convince even the pickiest of voters.
“And Independents, too, now favor Obama on jobs, by 44-31, a big shift from 37-42 in September. And not only do Democrats support Obama’s jobs plan and believe it will improve the jobs situation, but so too do independents, by margins of 47-38 and 52-44, respectively. Moderates, meanwhile, are even more enthusiastic—support figures among this group are 5-9 points higher than among Independents on all these questions. As for raising taxes on the rich: Bring it on! By 65-28, Independents favor raising taxes on households with over a million dollars in income.”
-Ruy Teixeira, “Obama’s New Populism Isn’t Alienating Moderates.”
Poll courtesy of CBS News.