California Democrats Maintain Slight Lead, Though with 4 Months to Go…

... the Republican base is more energized and more likely to vote than the Democratic base, and voters of all political stripes are highly dissatisfied with California politics.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Washington, DC – Ipsos’ recent poll of 600 registered voters in California shows that the Democratic candidates for US Senator and for Governor of California maintain small leads over their Republican opponents. However, it is still early enough in the election cycle that many voters remain unsure .

  • Barbara Boxer is polling on 45% compared to Carly Fiorina’s 41%, with 1% planning to vote for another party and 13% refusing or unsure
  • Jerry Brown is polling on 45% compared to Meg Whitman’s 39%, with 3% planning to vote for another party and 14% refusing or unsure

The Republican base appears to be more enthusiastic about the races than the Democrats, with 73% of Republicans saying they are ‘completely certain’ they will vote this November, compared to 60% of Democrats and Independents.

Interest in the campaign and campaign coverage is fairly high, with 59% saying they have a ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a bit’ of interest in following news about the midterm campaigns; again, this figure is highest among Republicans (64%), slightly lower among Democrats (57%), and lowest among Independents (45%).

Californians are fairly unhappy with the direction in which their State is heading: more than three-quarters (78%) feel things in California are on the ‘wrong track’, and just 16% think they’re heading in the right direction. Democrats are the most optimistic, with 21% believing things are heading in the right direction, compared to just 12% of Republicans and 5% of Independents who think the same.

The survey contained a question asking about the biggest problems currently facing California:

  • Over half (52%) feel that the economy and jobs is among California’s biggest problems, and many cite issues around the budget and deficit
  • Just under one in five (18%) name issues around the Government, politics and politicians generally – which includes both state and national level concerns
  • Education (15%), immigration (14%) and taxes generally (11%) are also listed as key concerns

Residents are unhappy with the way Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as Governor of California: a quarter (27%) approve and seven in ten (69%) disapprove, with Republicans more approving (33%) than Democrats (22%).

When asked about California’s regulations regarding climate change, half of registered voters say they believe that the new regulations drive investment in green technology and create green jobs, while 38% believe the regulations will create higher energy costs and lead to cuts in traditional jobs.

Californians are equally divided on the ballot initiative regarding the legalization of marijuana, with half thinking the use of marijuana should be made illegal (50%) and half thinking it should eb made legal (48%). Support for its legalization is highest among Democrats (62%), and far lower among Republicans (32%).

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Clifford Young
Managing Director, Public Sector Practice
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe. They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2009, Ipsos generated global revenues of €943.7 million ($1.33 billion U.S.).

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California Democrats Maintain Slight Lead, Though with 4 Months to Go…


Clifford Young
President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs