Thursday, September 23, 2010

Poll Watch: Field Research California Gubernatorial Survey

Field Research California Gubernatorial Survey
  • Jerry Brown (D) 41% [44%] (43%) {46%} [50%]
  • Meg Whitman (R) 41% [43%] (46%) {36%} [29%]
Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}
  • Jerry Brown 44% [42%] (41%) {44%} [44%] / 47% [40%] (37%) {32%} [29%] {-3%}
  • Meg Whitman 40% [40%] (40%) {25%} [18%] / 45% [42%] (27%) {20%} [14%] {-5%}
Survey of 599 likely voters was conducted September 14-21, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 4.1 percentage points.  Party ID breakdown: 44% Democrat; 35% Republican; 21% Independent.  Results from the poll conducted June 22 – July 5, 2010 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted March 9-15, 2010 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted January 5-17, 2010 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted September 18 – October 5, 2009 are in square brackets.

Inside the numbers:

Democrats favor Brown 69% to 15%. Republicans split 75% to 9% in favor of Whitman.

The race is even among the 21% of likely voters who are non-partisan or are registered with a minor party, with each candidate polling 38%, and a large 24% are undecided.

About one in six likely voters (18%) in this survey say they identify “a lot” with the Tea Party movement. This group overwhelmingly supports Whitman over Brown, 80% to 2%.

Voters who have “some” identification with the Tea Party represent another 23% of California’s likely voters, and they also prefer Whitman 63% to 19%. However, among the 59% of likely voters who do not identify with the Tea Party, Brown is preferred greater than three to one (62% to 20%).

Women, a traditionally Democratic-leaning voter segment, are evenly dividing their voting preferences between Whitman and Brown (41% each). Male voters are also closely divided, 41% for Brown and 40% for Whitman.

White non-Hispanics, who comprise 72% of likely voters in this election, are favoring Whitman over Brown by four points (44% to 40%). Latinos, another traditionally Democratic-voting constituency who account for 15% of this year’s likely voters, are only slightly favoring Brown (43% to 40%). All other ethnic voters, including African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Native-Americans, account for another 13% of the vote and they are favoring Brown by twenty-two points (48% to 26%), although many (26%) are undecided.

Voters in Los Angeles County, another traditionally Democratic stronghold, are currently backing Whitman over Brown by three points, 41% to 38%. In the nine other Southern California counties combined, where about one-third of state’s likely voters reside, Whitman leads Brown 50% to 34%. The 17% of likely voters who live in the Central Valley also favor Whitman 47% to 33%.

About one in five (21%) of the state’s likely voters reside in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. This is Brown’s strongest region, and he leads Whitman by a two and one-half to one margin (64% to 24%). The race is tied in the relatively sparsely populated areas of Northern California outside the Bay Area.

Likely voters located in counties that touch the Pacific Ocean or the San Francisco Bay (coastal voters) account for 71% of those expected to vote in November, while 29% live in inland counties. Brown holds a nine-point lead over Whitman 46% to 37% in the coastal counties, while Whitman is preferred 49% to 31% among inland county voters.

Slightly more than half (51%) of likely voters say they will be voting by mail in this election, while 49% indicate their vote will be at their local precinct on Election Day.

Whitman holds a four-point lead (44% to 40%) among mail ballot voters, while precinct voters narrowly prefer Brown 42% to 39%.

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