The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

September 16, 2011
Obama-Romney poll numbers show California's great divide

In politics, there are many Californias -- Coastal California and the rest of us, young and old, white and non-white.

The Field Poll this week illustrates those points once more, clearly.

President Barack Obama would beat any Republican challenger in California if the election were held today. But he'd win by an especially wide margin in Coastal California.

The incumbent would best former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 55 percent-33 percent along the coast. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the contest wouldn't be that close. Obama would win 68 percent-22 percent.

People ages 30 to 39 favor Obama by a 62-23 percent margin, while Latino voters support him 65-23 percent

But in the Central Valley, the picture changes rather dramatically.

Romney leads Obama, 50-40 percent in the valley. Romney also leads among voters 65 and older, 46 percent-45 percent, and among white voters, 47 percent to 43 percent.

The splits are basically the same for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, currently the Republican front-runner nationally, though not in California.

The pattern is the same for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who faces reelection in 2012, although she could be in for a tough fight, if, of course, a Republican were to emerge as a potential challenger. None has.

Feinstein would win in Coastal California against the unknown Republican, 46-39 percent, but lose in the Central Valley, 29-56 percent.

The Field survey found voters are in terrible mood. Who can blame them? Unemployment is stubbornly high. Poverty is rising. Houses are under water.

The Field Poll found 46 percent of voters surveyed approve of the job that President Obama is doing, down from 54 percent back in June.

Congress is doing worse. A record 86 percent of covers disapprove of the job Congress is doing. A mere 9 percent think Congress is doing a good job. You have to wonder who they are.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter