The new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll is extremely good news for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and extremely bad news for his trailing challenger, Treasurer Phil Angelides. Despite showing Democrats clearly preferred over Republicans in congressional preference, and President George W. Bush highly unpopular, Schwarzenegger leads Angelides by 18 points, 48% to 30%.
Schwarzenegger’s lead has actually gone up by one point in the last month, even though he has been outspent on TV advertising during the period by pro-Angelides forces. In addition, the poll shows the big bipartisan infrastructure bonds are on the bubble. The PPIC poll results reflect what has been long reported on NWN. Nine percent support minor party candidates, about half those choosing Green Peter Camejo.
The former action superstar is seen here in this NWN video of the landmark global warming bill signing on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.
Schwarzenegger leads among all important independent voters by a nearly two to one ratio. Among the men’s respective parties, Schwarzenegger has 86% of the Republican vote, despite his center/left tilt this year.
Angelides is still struggling to break 60% of the Democratic vote, which explains why he is still spending most of his time campaigning in Democratic strongholds. But he’s not running well there. In the PPIC poll, Schwarzenegger actually leads in the San Francisco Bay Area and is in a statistical tie in the Los Angeles area. Everywhere else in California, he leads by huge margins.
Crossover voters are going for Schwarzenegger, virtually none for Angelides. The former Mr. Universe has 21% of the Democratic vote; Angelides has only 4% of the Republican vote, which is just outside the poll’s margin of error of 3%.
Overwhelming majorities of voters say they are concerned about California’s infrastructure. But the infrastructure bonds seriously lag this general sentiment. None has improved in the last month. The transportation and education facilities initiatives have only 51% support. The levee bond has 53% support, with affordable housing, benefiting in the abstract from a favorable ballot description, has 56%. Proposition 84, the water and parks bond initiative placed on the ballot by petition, has only 42% support.
While Republicans are split or opposed to the measures, Democratic support lags what it should be. For example, the lynchpin $20 billion transportation initiative has only 57% support among Democrats. Among independents, support for the four bond initiatives emerging from the Legislature ranges from just over 50% to 55%, proving that the so far lagging bipartisan campaigning for the measures is greatly needed.
One reason that Schwarzenegger is holding up so spectacularly well with Republican voters despite his move back to the center/left on some key issues is that Republican voters are actually not so conservative as is usually supposed. Strong majorities of Republicans favor the moves against global warming and for raising the minimum wage.
As for Angelides, he has been successfully defined — and has defined himself — as a hyperpartisan Democrat unacceptable to any grouping of Republicans and not all that many independents. And with less than two weeks left in the campaign, he is, ironically, struggling with Democratic voters. Even though his entire campaign has been pitched to Democratic voters.
While an overwhelming majority of of Schwarzenegger supporters are satisfied with the choices in the governor’s race, Angelides supporters are far less satisfied. Republicans are much happier with their seemingly apostate candidate than Democratic voters are with their avowedly true blue standardbearer. 66% of Republicans say they are happy with the choices in the governor’s race; only 44% of Democrats say the same.