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California Presidential Poll: Obama Has Clear Lead, Romney Gains Slightly

A new Reason-Rupe poll of 508 likely voters in California finds Obama continues to enjoy a significant lead in the state with 53 percent to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s 38 percent. Just weeks ago, however, a Field Poll conducted Sept 6-17 found Obama with a 24 point lead, 58 percent to 34 percent. This suggests that perhaps Romney’s successful debate performance in early October cut Obama's margin from +24 to +15.

Fifty-five percent of Californians approve of the job President Obama is doing and 40 percent disapprove. Similarly, 59 percent of likely voters view the president favorably, with 38 percent viewing him unfavorably. In contrast, 49 percent of likely voters view Romney unfavorably and 42 percent view him favorably.

The poll also asked about Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. They garner 2 percent and 1 percent respectively. It is interesting to note that Gary Johnson’s number is so low despite the 20 percent of likely California voters who are arguably more closely aligned with his positions than either Romney or Obama. Consider this—20 percent of California likely voters say that “people would be better able to handle today’s problems within a free market with less government involvement” and “that too often, government regulation of businesses does more harm than good” and also that “government should not favor any particular set of values.” These come from our classic questions for gleaning ideological predispositions. This particular combination of answers indicate a libertarian predisposition. Yet, among these voters, only 6 percent plan to vote for Johnson, 64 percent plan to cast votes for Romney, and about a quarter will do so for Obama.

In line with other polls aggregated on Real Clear Politics, Senator Dianne Feinstein has maintained her consistent lead over Republican opponent Elizabeth Emken, 60 percent to 34 percent.

California telephone poll conducted October 11th-15th on both landline and cell phones, 696 adults, margin of error +/- 3.8%. The sample also includes 508 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 5.1%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here. Full poll results found here.

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