Here’s Republican Neel Kashkari’s fundamental problem in challenging Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown: The governor’s ’s job approval rating is at 55% among likely voters compared to 42% two years ago. And while a slight majority of likely voters still say the state is going in the wrong direction, today, 43% say things in California are generally going in the right direction – up from 29% in September 2012.
These are data from the just-released survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, which also finds Gov. Gandalf with a 21 point lead over Xerxes – 54% to 33% — including 86% of Democrats, 45% of independents and even 19% (about two in 10!) of Republicans.
PPIC’s poll, taken Sept. 8-15, suggests an even wider margin for Brown than the Field Poll of Aug. 14-28, which found Brown with a 16 percentage point lead, 50-34%. Field also found Brown with a 58% job approval rating while 43% of likely voters said the state is moving in the right direction compared to 41% who said it is on the wrong track.
More importantly, Neel is no longer covering the spread against the Calbuzz Election Pool line: Brown -20, Kashkari +20.
Bettors Background For handicappers, we offer some historical data on the biggest whoopings in recent years: in 1998, Democratic Lt. Gov. Gray Davis beat Republican Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren 58-38%; in 2006, Republican movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger beat Democratic Treasurer Phil Angelides 56-39%; in 1994, Republican Gov. Pete Wilson beat Democratic Treasurer Kathleen Brown 56-41%; and in 2010, Atty. Gen. (and former Gov.) Jerry Brown beat Republican businesswoman Meg Whitman 54-41%.
Comes now a former Goldman Sachs and Troubled Assets Relief Program banker with absolutely no elective experience and none of Whitman’s billions, up against a man who has been Secretary of State, a two-term Governor, three-time presidential candidate and Mayor of Oakland with a job approval rating somewhere around 55% or 58%.
This is only a contest in Kashkari’s loopy overripe imagination. But we like his spirit and have urged him to make a friendly non-cash wager with Calbuzz about the statement he made in his convention speech Sunday: “I deeply believe we can win in November.” So far, no word from Xerxes, but we’re anxiously keeping an eye on his Twitter feed.
As we’ve said before, Kashkari is arguing a case that voters simply don’t accept: that California is going to hell in a hand basket on jobs, education and poverty. Brown, after meeting Kashkari in one off-off-prime-time debate, isn’t even running a campaign. He’s just sitting on a $23 million war chest and running another of his Sun Tzu campaigns:
…those who win every battle are not really skillful – those who render others’ armies helpless without fighting are the best of all… When you induce others to construct a formation while you yourself are formless, then you are concentrated while the opponent is divided.
GOP’s Weakest Link There are many other fine data points in PPIC’s new poll, none of which interest us all that much, except for one we keep yammering about because it’s key to whether the California Republican Party will prevent itself from falling even further from 28% of registration.
PPIC asked: Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English?
Eight in 10 (82%) of all Californians favor the proposal and just 17% oppose it. That includes 90% of Democrats, 87% of independents and – nudge, nudge – 58% of Republicans.
But wait, that’s not all! A pathway to citizenship is supported by 88% of liberals, 86% of moderates and 73% of conservatives. And – in case there was a question about what Hispanics want – by 76% of whites and 95% of Latinos. In polling, 95% is off the charts: you could ask a random sample of people if Elvis is dead or if the Pope is Catholic and likely fewer than 95% would say yes.
Tea Party, and therefore Republican Party, dogma, is that a path to citizenship constitutes the outrage of “amnesty” for immigrants. Which helps explain why Democrat Brown leads Republican Kashkari only 44-41% among whites but a staggering 74-19% among Latino likely voters. Xerxes is stuck with the California GOP brand – even if he himself parts ways with GOP orthodoxy by backing “a long pathway to citizenship” (whatever that means).
PPIC surveyed 1,702 California adult residents by landline and cell phone September 1-15 (the pathway to citizenship question was asked Sept. 8-11). Within the sample, 916 respondents were identified as likely voters. The margin of error for all adults was ±3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level; for likely voters the margin of error was ±4.9 percent, and for the 652 adults asked the pathway question the margin of error was ±5.7 percent.
Special thanks to Linda Strean at PPIC for getting those extra crosstabs for Calbuzz.