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Posts Tagged ‘Latino vote’



Mining the Field Poll: Climate Change, Gov, Senate

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Buried in last week’s Field Poll were some nifty data that confirm something Calbuzz has been arguing for quite a while: that California’s pioneering climate-change law, and now Prop. 23 which seeks to suspend it, is a key political marker in the governor’s race and in the Senate race as well.

The Field Poll found Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman in a statistical tie – 44% for Brown and 43% for Whitman. When a political contest is tied, analysts like to find variables that demonstrate powerful — significant — differences.

Party registration is always one of the most muscular variables. About 74% of Democrats are supporting Brown, for example, and about 80% of Republicans are supporting Whitman.

The Field Poll  also found that Prop. 23, the measure to suspend AB32’s requirement to rollback the level of greenhouse gases in California, is running behind, with 48% of the voters opposed and 36% in favor – generally regarded as a weak starting point for a ballot measure.*

But a separate crosstab that the Field Poll ran at our request showed that voters who favor Prop. 23 are supporting Whitman over Brown by 55-34% while those who oppose the measure are supporting Brown  by 54-34% — virtual mirror images.

At the same time, and even more impressive: Whitman voters are supporting Prop. 23 by 45-36% but Brown supporters are opposing the measure by an even stronger 60-28%. These are differences you can call statistically significant.

Some, but not all of this is the effect of party registration, since Democrats oppose Prop. 23 by 57-31% and Republicans support it 47-33%. But it’s also clear that there’s some powerful correlation going on between opposition to overturning AB32 and who voters are supporting in the governor’s race.

It’s important, too, that independents – who are supporting Whitman over Brown by just 42-39% — also are opposed to Prop. 23 by 53-29%. If Brown makes those independents aware that Whitman has called for a suspension of the state’s climate-change law, it could create a problem for Whitman among this important group of voters.

There’s a strong connection between Prop. 23 and the Senate race, too.

Fiorina voters favor Prop. 23 by 47-34% while Boxer voters are opposed 62-27%. At the same time, supporters of Prop. 23 favor Fiorina over Boxer by 58-35% while opponents of Prop. 23 favor Boxer 60-32%.

The undecideds in the Senate race are opposed to the measure 47-28% — giving Boxer an opening to make inroads among voters who haven’t made up their mind about the Senate race but who know for sure they don’t want to roll back California’s climate change law.

Digging further into the Field Poll crosstabs yielded some other nuggets:

– Brown’s favorable-unfavorable ratio among Democrats is just 68-15%, the reverse of his standing among Republicans which is 68-15% unfavorable. But among non-partisans – the true swing vote in California — Brown’s got a further problem: his standing is 47-34% unfavorable. On the other hand, his ratio is 50-34% favorable among moderates.

– Among voters age 18-29, 35% have no opinion about Brown, among voters 30-39, 33% have no clue about him and three in 10 Latinos have no opinion about him. In other words, Brown has an enormous task ahead introducing himself to young voters before they hear about him from Whitman.

– Whitman’s got favorability problems of her own. Her status among Republicans is 65-18% favorable and among Democrats it’s 60-20% unfavorable. Like Brown, the independents have an unfavorable view of her – 46-40%. Unlike Brown, moderates have a negative view of her, too: 45-39% unfavorable.

– Despite spending a jillion dollars on TV and radio ads in the past few months, she’s not much better known among the 18-29 year-old voters than Brown is: 30% have no opinion of her and among those who have an opinion it’s 43-27% unfavorable. (The younger voters who know Brown like him a lot more: 39-26% favorable.)

– Worst of all for eMeg: women don’t seem to like her much. Her favorability, which is 42-40% on the unfavorable side is driven mostly by women. Men see her favorably 43-41% but women lean 43-37% unfavorable.

* Since the initiative and referendum were created just after the turn of the century in California, the “no” position on propositions has beaten the “yes” position about two-thirds of the time. When a proposition begins with less than 60% support, it’s historically in trouble. That can change if enough money and resources are thrown into the mix. But it’s tough. It doesn’t help the “yes” side when proponents advance silly arguments like we heard last week from John Kabateck, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business/California, a co-chair of the Prop. 23 campaign.

Here’s the question that Field asked:

Have you seen, read or heard anything about a statewide ballot proposition to suspend state air pollution control and greenhouse gas emission laws until unemployment is reduced in California?

(As you know) this proposition would suspend state laws requiring reduced greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. It requires the state to abandon its comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction program that includes increased renewable energy, cleaner fuel requirements and mandatory reporting and fees for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries until the suspension is lifted. If the election were being held today, would you vote YES or NO on this proposition?

The complaint from the so-called “California Jobs Initiative”?

Most importantly, the survey failed to mention anything about the costs of AB 32 implementation, which are projected to run in the billions in higher electricity, natural gas, gasoline and diesel costs and to cause the loss of over a million jobs.

And then — we’re not making this up — after trashing the poll, they trotted out the old chestnut: “the only poll that counts is the one on election day” argument.

“The only poll that matters is the one that will go before voters on November 2nd, “concluded Kabateck. “We’re confident that when voters have all the facts they’ll vote for jobs, affordable energy and fiscal responsibility – that means a Yes vote on Prop. 23.”

Gov Race Even but eMeg’s Negatives Have Soared

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The California governor’s race remains essentially a dead heat, according to the latest Field Poll, which finds a slight shift overall in favor of Democrat Jerry Brown at 44% compared to Republican Meg Whitman at 43%. In the last Field Poll in March, Whitman led Brown 46-43%.

But the finding in the survey that jumps out at Calbuzz is this: Whitman’s favorability rating, which was 40-27% positive in March has taken a huge hit. Her unfavorable rating has soared 15 points to 42% while her favorable has not budged one iota and remains at 40%.

In part that’s the effect of the $25 million negative campaign against eMeg by her Republican primary rival Steve Poizner. But it’s also after Whitman herself has spent more than $100 million, including about $2 million a week since the primary was concluded a month ago. Ouch.

Moreover, it looks like the attack ads on Whitman by Brown’s labor allies — including California Working Families 2010 — have had their intended effect: to increase Whitman’s negatives and keep her from pulling away from Brown during the summer, before he can afford to put his own ads on TV.

Meanwhile, Brown’s favorability is only marginally changed from March. It’s 42-40% favorable today, compared to 41-37% favorable before. (Of course, Brown’s favorable was 50-25% back in March of 2009, but that was when he was just the new Attorney General and not a candidate for governor with rivals.)

Whitman has gained some ground with Latinos, among whom Brown now leads 50-39% compared to 54-25% in March. Apparently, eMeg’s spending $600,000 a week on Spanish-language media while Krusty has yet done virtually nothing to reach out to Latinos has had some effect, even though Whitman took some harsh anti-illegal immigration stands during the primary campaign.

Whitman has not done as well as might have been expected with independents. She leads Brown marginally now, 42-39% among non-partisans compared to 50-36% in March. That’s a 3-point lead, down from 14 points. Both candidates are holding their party bases, although Whitman is doing better among Republicans (80-9%) than Brown is doing among Democrats (74-16%).

Whitman is winning about 75% of the conservatives, who make up 36% of the electorate, while Brown is winning about 80% of the liberals who account for 23% of the voters. In the battle for the critical middle-of-the-road voters – who make up about 41% of the electorate — Brown is ahead 49-35%.

Party remains a much stronger pull than gender: according to Field, Brown leads 45-41% among women while Whitman leads 46-42% among men. Democratic women favor Brown 72-14% while Republican women favor Whitman 79-10%.

The Field Poll surveyed 1,005 likely voters, including a random sub-sample of 357 voters, June 22-July 5. The margin of error for questions asked of all voters is +/- 3.2% and for questions asked of the sub-sample (including favorability) it is +/- 5.5%. Calbuzz has been refused the opportunity to subscribe to the Field Poll and has obtained the results elsewhere.

Unlike other polling organizations, the Field Poll chose not to sample a general election population when they fielded their June primary survey and therefore have no data on the Brown-Whitman race from then. Other surveys – by the Public Policy Institute of California and USC/Los Angeles Times – found Brown with a 5-6 point lead over Whitman. And a recent Reuters/Ipsos gave Brown a 6-point lead.

Each of those surveys, however, has a different methodology and sampling techniques and comparing them is considered by polling experts to be problematic. Nevertheless, some analysts create a sort of poll of polls and using that method, one could argue that the current Field Poll suggests a tightening of the race to a dead heat from a slight Brown advantage.

P.S. Calbuzz is not unmindful of the sharp disparity between these numbers and the Reuters/Ipsos survey we reported on just yesterday. Both polling outfits are reputable although in a pinch, we’d have to lean toward the Field Poll which is, by most measures, one of the most accurate, if not THE most accurate, polling firm in the country.

Up next: We’re expecting Field’s numbers on the Barbara Boxer-Carly Fiorina race for the U.S. Senate shortly and will bring our take on the state of that race when we do. We’ve also recently spent some quality time with Babs and will have a full report on our one-on-one interview with her — including a hair-curling look at Boxer’s true feelings about Hurricane Carly’s insult of her ‘do.

Shady Sam’s Sham Oil Stance Meets Mariachi Meg

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Sam Blakeslee, the San Luis oilman Californians just can’t trust, is trying to steal a victory in a state senate special election next week by posing as a moderate Republican environmentalist who loves sea otters even more than snowy plovers.

The blunt truth of the matter, however, may be found in 1) the lavish oil industry contributions shoveled into committees that have forked out more than $1 million to back Blakeslee’s play in the 15th State Senate district and 2)  the photograph posted at the top of this story, which shows exactly where the San Luis Obispo GOP assemblyman stood on offshore oil drilling in California – before that whole Gulf of Mexico thing made it really, really unfashionable.

The ex-Republican assembly leader is locked in a fierce battle with former Democratic assemblyman John Laird for the seat representing a vast, coastal district that was held until recently by Lite Governor Abel Maldonado. It’s up for grabs in a special next Tuesday that Governor Schwarzmuscle carefully scheduled to benefit Blakeslee.

Laird just now is getting his brains beat in on TV, as BP, Chevron and other oil companies have rushed to finance pro-Blakeslee independent expenditure committees that are paying for a barrage of ads portraying the Democrat as a crazed socialist considerably to the left of Hugo Chavez.

As we predicted a year ago hardliner Blakeslee now is falsely positioning himself as a pro-green centrist, in an effort to capture a majority vote in the June 22 primary, which would make a scheduled August run-off unnecessary.

“I have been an environmental Republican throughout my service,” Blakeslee told Paul Rogers of the Mercury News. “I’ve never wavered on my protection of the coast.”

Excuse us while we build a tower big enough to hold our laughter.

In claiming he’s against offshore oil, Blakeslee tries to hide behind the skirts of a group of Santa Barbara environmentalists, who pitched the controversial Tranquillon Ridge offshore project, just off the coast of the southern end of the 15th SD, as a way to trade new drilling now for less in the future (for those who’ve been hanging out on Uranus for the last year, our primer on T-Ridge is here).

In truth, Blakeslee’s history on the issue is strongly at odds with the greens who originally co-sponsored the plan with the Houston-based oil company PXP; his record shows a drill-baby-drill determination to ram through the offshore project via a series of backdoor legislative schemes intended to overrun the opposition of the State Lands Commission, which rejected T-Ridge and which, oh yeah, for decades happens to have had sole jurisdiction over state oil leases.

After the lands commission turned down the project in 2009 – saying its promise to end future drilling was unenforceable because the power to do so ultimately resided with the scandal-ridden federal Minerals  Management Service, Blakeslee plotted with fellow knuckledragger assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Orange County to end run the commission, a move that the enviros who originally backed the proposal categorically opposed.

First, the dynamic duo tried to pass AB23*, a DeVore bill that was gutted in the Senate and amended to approve PXP’s T-Ridge project by creating a special exemption and removing it from the jurisdiction of the lands commission.

On July 24, 2009, the measure was heatedly debated in the Assembly and defeated with only 30 of the house’s 80 members supporting the drilling plan.

Within hours, however, the official record of that vote was expunged, in what appeared to be a Blakeslee maneuver to remove his fingerprints from the pro-drilling bill. Despite the insistence of Blakeslee flacks  that he had nothing to do with erasing the vote, the reliable Anthony York of Capitol Weekly shortly after the deal went down cited sources who traced the move to the then-Republican Assembly leader.

For those still pondering the mystery of that expunged vote, Calbuzz is pleased to provide an historic photo of it, which clearly shows Blakeslee among the small minority of those who backed the special interest legislation to expand drilling off the coast.

Two months later, Blakeslee was back at it, this time gutting one of his own bills in an effort have his way on behalf of the oil industry, which would have liked nothing more than to use T-Ridge as a foot in the door to overcome California’s four decade opposition to any new leases authorizing more drilling in state water.

It’s instructive that when Laird kicked off the 15th SD special election campaign by whacking Blakeslee on offshore drilling,  the Republican a) began trying to finesse the issue by touting his purported environmental credentials and b) changed the subject, unloading a barrage of ads assailing Laird as a menace to society on fiscal issues.

Among other crimes, it seems, Laird accepted pay raises that, um, Blakeslee also took (Jon Coupal, the doctrinaire Howard Jarvis acolyte who’s plugging Blakeslee in the IE ads, might want to check out some of Sam’s squishier statements on tax increases here and here).

Then again, if Shady Sam is willing to masquerade his environmental record to get elected, why should anyone be surprised that he’d gussy  himself up on other issues as well?

eMeg proves she has no shame: Guess who’s nowhere to be found on Meg Whitman’s new website Latinos for Meg or in her new Spanish language TV commercials? Former Gov. Pete Wilson, her campaign chairman and iconic diablo among Hispanics in California.

Gone is the “tough-as-nails” Meg Whitman who sternly warned “No amnesty. No exceptions” as she vowed to send the National Guard to the border, crack down on sanctuary cities and generally lower the boom on illegal immigrants.

As Calbuzz predicted a couple of weeks ago: Whitman, now desperate to capture Latino voters she didn’t give a rat’s ass about in the Republican primary, suddenly is all about jobs and opportunity, sunshine and inclusiveness. Oh puhleeeese. What a fraud.

The only uncertainty, as we noted before: “…we don’t know whether, by spending untold sums on campaign propaganda, Whitman will be able to obliterate the collective memory voters might otherwise have of her lurch to the right.”

Oh, and Meg dropped another $20 million into her war chest this week, bringing her personal “investment” to $91 million.

Now, Mariachi Meg is emphasizing that she was never for Proposition 187 (although its chief advocate is her campaign chairman) and she opposes Arizona’s check-their-status law. Maybe – after spending serious money to make the point that she opposes amnesty – she’ll go back to arguing for a guest worker program where people “stand at the back of the line and pay a fine.”

So far no one is up on TV countering Whitman’s hypocritical drive to round up Latino voters. But the Democratic Governor’s Association did create a 90-second video in Spanish called “Send Pete Packing.”

As Tenoch Flores, on behalf of the California Democratic Party,  argued:

“Apparently Meg Whitman forgot that we live in the age of ‘the internets’ – ironic for someone who touts her eBay experience. She sincerely believes a Spanish language advertising buy is going to gloss over the fact that together with her mentor Pete Wilson, and her rival Steve Poizner, she engaged in the greatest Republican Party anti-immigrant hate-fest this side of the California-Arizona border.”

The CDP also reprised Meg’s “Tough as Nails” radio ad and even offered up a Spanish translation. Said Flores:

“Latino voters in California haven’t forgotten about Pete Wilson’s anti-immigrant crusade, and that was over ten years ago. They certainly won’t forget that Whitman used them as foil to get herself through the GOP primary less than a month ago.”

Unless Whitman’s beyond standard quantum limit spending can wipe away all memory.

* In an earlier version of this post we had a typo that labeled AB23 as AB32 — a super mix-up since AB32 is the famous climate-change bill.

eMeg’s Pander on the Right Hurts Her Against Brown

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

By lurching to the right to defeat Steve Poizner for the Republican nomination for governor, Meg Whitman has eroded her standing among  independents and moderates, women and Latinos – all key constituencies in a general election against Democrat Jerry Brown.

In March, before she pulled out all the stops to outflank Poizner among conservatives over illegal immigration, abortion and taxes, to name a few issues, Whitman’s favorable-to-unfavorable ratings were 25-21% among independents, 29-25% among moderates, 30-21% among women and 25-12% among Latinos, according to the USC/LA Times poll.

But in the May survey, eMeg’s favorable-unfavorable standings were 25-39% among independents, 29-42% among moderates, 28-37% among women and 22-31% among Latinos. (Get a pdf of the crosstabs here.)

Likewise, in March Whitman was running ahead of Brown 44-41% in a simulated general election match-up, including 40-39% among independents and 44-38% among women. But she now trails Brown 44-38% overall, 48-30% among independents and 46-34% among women.

“It’s not irretrievable,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC’s College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “But it puts her in a hole going forward.”

By comparison, Democrat Jerry Brown, who has been able to avoid the crossfire between Whitman and Poizner, has maintained positive favorability ratings among these key groups – 33-26% among independents, 38-29% among moderates, 38-29% among women and 33-16% among Latinos.

In a conference call with reporters last week, Whitman’s chief strategist, Mike Murphy, addressed the issue of his candidate’s loss of support among Latinos, arguing that the former eBay CEO would not suffer permanently because Latinos are not single-issue voters.

But Whitman’s embrace of the Neanderthal Wing of the GOP has only barely been driven home to key constituencies, and only from the right – not yet from the left. Except for the populist attacks on her by Poizner and the California Democratic Party over her connections to Goldman Sachs, most of the TV ads aimed at her have tried to make her out to be a squishy liberal.

While Poizner has apparently bet his entire end-game strategy on the belief that one’s stand on the Arizona anti-immigration law – he’s for it, Whitman’s against it — has become the dividing line in the Republican primary, that idea seems wrong-headed.

According to the survey, 50% of registered voters support the Arizona law, including 77% of Republicans. But Whitman is beating Poizner among those who favor the law by 54-29%. He actually does better – 46-29% — among those who oppose the law.

But the sharp divide on the Arizona law helps to illuminate how Whitman’s efforts to look tough on immigration have hurt her in the general election. Among those who support the law, she beats Brown 55-30%. But among those who oppose the law, Brown leads by a huge margin of 61-19%.

The USC/LA Times survey suggests some areas where Brown has yet to make a mark. While he led Whitman among Latinos 52-29% in March, his standing slipped to 40-31% in May. And while upwards of 85% of voters 45 and older have an opinion about Brown (4-5 points favorable), only 34% of those 18-19 years old know enough about Brown even to express an opinion.

As we’ve noted before, however, Krusty the General has yet to remind Latinos that he put Cruz Reynoso on the California Supreme Court, Mario Obledo in his cabinet, marched with Caesar Cesar Chavez, created the Agricultural Relations Board and dated Linda Ronstadt. Nor has he yet told younger voters about Whitman’s flip-flops on offshore oil drilling or her stance against California’s pioneering law to address climate change.

And we’re still not sure how Brown, who opposes the legalize-and-tax marijuana initiative on the November ballot, will play the dope card. Being attorney general and all (and having been a pretty straight-laced Jesuit school boy as a youth) it’s hard to figure how he will make use of this factoid from the USC/LA Times poll:

Among those who opposed the legalization of marijuana (41% of voters), Whitman leads Brown 45-35%. But among those who favor legalization (49%), Brown leads 53-33%. And among those who used marijuana in the past year, Brown smokes Whitman 60-34%. Hey campers, want some Fritos with that precinct list?

The Latino Vote: Why Brown Crushes Whitman

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

After Meg Whitman’s appearance the other day at the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a 30-year-old account executive from Univision told Julia Prodis Sulek of the Mercury News she was “wowed away.” This led to a story suggesting eMeg would be trying to round up votes from Latinos.

Which got the Calbuzz Department of Historic Factoids and Demographic Analysis pretty worked up for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that one of eMeg’s campaign chairmen is former Gov. Pete Wilson (once known on the streets of Mexico City as “Hijo de Puta”) for his pioneering role in using illegal immigration as a wedge issue in California politics.

Although Whitman would eliminate “sanctuary cities” and is opposed to amnesty for undocumented immigrants, she certainly comes across as less antagonistic to immigration than her GOP rival Steve Poizner:  she says she would not have voted for Prop. 187, which sought to deny services to illegal immigrants, and would not deny medical services or education to the children of illegals.

But try as she might to keep anyone from noticing that she is seeking the REPUBLICAN nomination, the chance that she could capture even a quarter of the Latino vote is far from certain.

Even before he has campaigned among Latino voters — who are expected to comprise 15% of the November electorate – Crusty the General is in a lot better shape among Latinos than eMeg is.

In the January Field Poll, Brown’s favorable-unfavorable ratio among Latinos was 43-22% and in March it was 36-22%, By comparison, Meg’s ratio was 17-16% in January and 31-18% in March. And while Brown led Whitman 52-29% in January among Latinos, he was ahead of her 54-25% in March.

In other words, while eMeg picked up some positive ID among Latinos from her TV ads between January and March, Brown’s lead in the vote among Latinos increased from 23 percentage points in January to 29 points in March. And the only thing Brown had done was his announcement media tour.

And that’s before the Brown campaign has made clear a few actual facts about Jerry Brown and Latinos, including:

1. Former Gov. Brown made Cruz Reynoso the first Latino on the California Supreme Court.

2. He named Mario Obledo in his Secretary of Health and Welfare – the first Latino in a modern-day California cabinet.

3. Brown marched with Cesar Chavez in support of the National Farmworkers Association and later the United Farmworkers Union.

4. Brown signed into law the Agricultural Relations Act, giving farm workers the right to unionize and provide state oversight of labor relations in the agricultural industry.

5. He hooked up with Linda Ronstadt.

Case closed.

ABC (Always Believe Calbuzz): The emergence in Brown’s weekend speech to the SEIU of an overtly and aggressive populist tone, as alertly reported by the SacBee’s Jack Chang, fulfills the prediction we made after the surprise election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat:

We hear from a lot of conservative circles: It’s the people who work for the people, the firefighters, the nurses, the hospital workers, the janitors, these are the people who caused our problems – not true,” Brown told a gathering at Oakland’s Marriott City Center hotel and hundreds more around the state via a video link.

“The folks of Wall Street who cost the United States over $11 trillion, they’ve created the problem,” he said. “And we are the ones who suffer.

As we reported in January, in a year when Brown, and other incumbent Democrat officeholders, face enormous risk in being portrayed successfully by the GOP as political insiders, the smart play is to position himself as an insurgent scourge of big business greed heads of all types:

In both the Senate and governor’s race, we expect the Democrats to sound a lot like one of the roving 1886 lecturers cited in “The Populist Movement” by Duke historian Larry Goodwyn:

“We have an overproduction of poverty, barefooted women, political thieves and many liars. There is no difference between legalized robbery and highway robbery . . . If you listen to other classes, you will have only three rights . . . to work, to starve and to die.”

Boxer and Brown — we predict — will run against the banks, the corporations and the oil companies — all of which will be lashed to their GOP opponents.  Whether voters will buy it is anyone’s guess.

Commish pounds immigration: Proving that he has little  interest in the Latino vote, Steve Poizner’s campaign plans to unveil a new TV spot today, in which he declares himself the only candidate with “the guts” to stop illegal immigration.

Stepping up the pitch to GOP conservatives he rolled out at the Republican state convention, promises to “stop taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants,” or to bring a new initiative before voters to do so.

Down but not out in his battle against GOP front-runner Meg Whitman, Poizner ends the ad by doing a superman act with a Buick, representing California, that’s about to fall over a cliff. Preview the ad here.