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.

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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.

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