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USC/LA Times Poll: Voters Like Health Care and Immigrants; Jerry Brown In Trouble

by: Robert Cruickshank

Sun Apr 04, 2010 at 10:07:49 AM PDT

California Republicans seem to think 2010 will be a favorable year for them. If that's true, then they're going to have to wake up to the fact that the electorate fundamentally does not share their right-wing anti-government, anti-immigrant values, as shown by the USC/LA Times Poll:

Health care

Will country be better off because of health care reform? 52% yes, 36% no, 12% don't know

Will you and your family benefit from the bill? 47% yes, 41% no, 13% don't know

Would you vote for a politician who voted for the bill? 46% yes, 26% no


Would you support or oppose...

Denying ER treatment and public schooling to immigrants and their children? 47% no, 45% yes, 8% neither/don't know

Temporary guest worker program but no path to citizenship: 70% yes, 24% no, 6% neither/don't know

Path to citizenship with fines, must learn English: 67% yes, 26% no, 7% neither/don't know

Obviously this poll is imperfect - they neglected to ask about a truly progressive approach to comprehensive immigration reform, one that provides a path to citizenship without forcing the undocumented to pay fines or learn a new language.

The poll also showed strong approval ratings for President Obama (64 favorable, 33 unfavorable) and reconfirmed the low ratings for Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature.

Things get really interesting when the USC/LA Times poll looked at the governor and Senate races. The poll again confirmed that Meg Whitman has a small lead over Jerry Brown - 44-41 in this poll - but worryingly for Dems, the crosstabs show Brown is in very serious trouble with key Democratic base groups:

Brown Whitman Brown Whitman
Dems: 58 27 Reps: 18 70
DTS: 38 39 Men: 43 44
Women: 38 44 18-29: 38 42
30-44: 34 45 45-64: 44 45
65+: 45 44 White: 38 50
Black: 45 22 Latino: 52 29
Asian: 34 41 Liberal: 66 22
Moderate: 44 41 Conservative: 17 68

32% of African-Americans undecided? Whitman leading among Millennial voters? Brown only has 66% of liberals? Jerry Brown's sleepwalking campaign is in deep trouble here if he doesn't start working to address these problems with his base.

Compare that with Barbara Boxer, who is in a much better position - although the poll did not test her against specific Republicans (Campbell leads Fiorina 29-25, with DeVore at 9), it does show her with a good lead over a generic Republican:

Boxer Rep candidate Boxer Rep candidate
Dems: 71 12 DTS: 50 26
Reps: 13 72 Men: 45 39
Women: 50 30 18-29: 57 23
30-44: 50 27 45-64: 46 37
65+: 41 44 White: 41 42
Black: 75 7 Latino: 62 18
Asian: 58 22 Liberal: 76 10
Moderate: 51 30 Conservative: 19 64

The poll also showed support for marriage equality was 52-40, which strikes me as a tad optimistic but still another good sign of a trend moving in favor of equal rights.

Overall this poll tells me that Californians still want to elect Democrats - but that specific Democratic candidates have to show why they deserve to be elected, show the electorate that they will govern as Democrats and give voters something to get excited about. By delivering health care reform, Senator Boxer has done that. By sitting on his ass while Meg Whitman erodes deeply into his base, Jerry Brown is instead setting himself up for an unnecessarily difficult climb to win a third term as governor this fall.

Robert Cruickshank :: USC/LA Times Poll: Voters Like Health Care and Immigrants; Jerry Brown In Trouble
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WTF??!! (0.00 / 0)
Jeez, Jerry Brown is blowing it! He's not even leading with young voters? He's in trouble... And his campaign needs to change course ASAP if he actually wants to be Governor again.

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

uh (2.00 / 1)
It's silly to assume Jerry would lead among younger voters just because he's a Democrat. (The label barely even fits...)  Firstly, he's an old, old man.  Secondly, who is he, is he running a campaign?  I'm not aware of it.  Thirdly, don't we have a young Democrat in the race?  Meg Whitman's ad's are pretty neutral on that score.  When the Big Old Democrat Donors chose Jerry instead of having a primary, they gave the state to Meg.  I'm one "young voter" who doesn't feel like Jerry represents my interests at all.  Neither does Meg, but I'll be happy to give the finger to the Democratic Establishment this time I think for taking the primary away from us.

[ Parent ]
He was just recently... (4.00 / 1)
Until eMeg started firing up the campaign and peppering the airwaves all over the state with her ads. And you can complain as much as you want about the primary, but Jerry Brown is the likely Dem nominee and he'll make a much better Governor than eMeg. If you care about the environment, civil rights, workers' rights, consumer rights, and the overall well-being of California, Jerry represents your interests.

Giving the finger to the CDP in November might feel good... Until Governor Whitman takes Arnold's "shock doctrine-ing" of California to an even scarier level and uses it as her springboard to run for President in 2016.

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

[ Parent ]
Dem establishment didn't take the primary away (0.00 / 0)
Everyone would have been 100% cool with hairboy going the distance...were it not for the fact he hired Garry South. The moment Gavin hired Garry the primary became something to stop. And stopped it was.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Agree w/ Brigham and Davey..... (0.00 / 0)
the poll doesn't suggest the sky is falling---Whitman for example only has 68% of the conservatives feeling warm and cuddly about her---but the post's point about Brown needing to solidify is base is well taken.  

[ Parent ]
Immigration Reform (5.00 / 1)
I think you're being a bit arrogant to state what a "truly progressive" immigration reform position is.  I'm a "truly progressive" person and I disagree with the position that you have labeled as the "truly progressive" one.

You are certainly in your rights to have a preferred position but you are not to call it the preferred position for all progressives.

100% in agreement (0.00 / 0)
I'm also "truly progressive" and it took me as a bit of a shock to be told what the "truly progressive" position would be on immigration reform.

If I drive on the freeway and exceed the speed limit, I pay a fine for violating the law as a citizen. An undocumented/illegal immigrant broke the law when they entered and stayed in this country, they should be expected to pay a fine as well. In addition, while I understand the difficulty in learning a new language, it isn't too much to ask since the burden should be placed upon the immigrant to learn the dominant language of their new country and not the other way around.  

[ Parent ]
But first, the muppets, Maggie V Poisener. (0.00 / 0)
Can't resist.  Kermit V. Ms. Piggy.
Sorry.  Maybe it's the hair.

hm (0.00 / 0)
I'm not sure the poll numbers are actually bad, considering. Meg Whitman has spent a gajillion dollars on ads. Jerry Brown hasn't done any campaigning for governor (at least, not for a couple decades). And a large portion of Whitman's lead undoubtedly comes from undecided Dems and undecided blacks. If Brown even deigns to turn up to the election, they should rapidly swing back.

Which isn't to say this isn't worrisome. Far from it--Brown should be winning by 20 points. But I find it very heartening, all and all.

What the hell is up with the immigration numbers, though? It just shows me that I really will never understand the American people. Not the absolute levels--I can easily comprehend anti-immigrant sentiment, even if I find it ew. I don't get the idea, though, that every undocumented immigrant should have a path to citizenship ("amnesty," favored by 67%) but at the same time we should let child immigrants die instead of letting them use the emergency room (45%!) I don't understand the logic that goes into that kind of stance.

People aren't paying attention yet (0.00 / 0)
That said, Brown's campaign needs to have a better presence, actually let people know he's running. And a lot of people might not realize Whitman is a Republican, she never mentions it in her ads and she talks a lot of game that some people buy.

the banality of evil (0.00 / 0)
"Denying ER treatment and public schooling to immigrants and their children? 47% no, 45% yes"

I suppose I can hope that the 45% just don't really read or think about the question.

Could 45% of people really think that if an (presumably illegal) immigrant child turns up in an ER with a deep and dangerous cut they should just be kicked out to the parking lot to bleed to death?

But just the fact that they are so careless with their opinions is monstrous.

People ARE paying attention (0.00 / 0)
Whitman gives us no choice.  The numbers bear that out.

2010: We Vote. Dems Win.


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