New University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times Poll


A new survey was conducted for the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts and Sciences by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in conjunction with American Viewpoint, both based out of Washington, DC. Jerry Brown has moved into a commanding 52 to 39 percent lead over Meg Whitman in the race to become the next governor of California among likely voters. Whitman’s personal ratings have taken a hit this month, especially among Latino voters, an increasingly important bloc of voters. While Brown has taken off in the race for Governor, the Senate race is holding steady with incumbent Barbara Boxer holding a significant 50-42 percent lead over Carly Fiorina. The effort to legalize marijuana in the state, Prop. 19, is losing steam with 51 percent prepared to vote no and 39 percent voting yes. Read more to see the full results.

USC-Los Angeles Times Poll: Results

USC-Los Angeles Times Poll: Graphs

USC-Los Angeles Times Poll: Target Crosstabs

USC-Los Angeles Times Poll: Crosstabs

USC-Los Angeles Times Poll: Likely Voters Target Crosstabs

USC-Los Angeles Times Poll: Likely Voters Crosstabs

Key Findings

  • Jerry Brown has moved into a commanding 52 to 39 percent lead over Meg Whitman in the race to become the next governor of California among likely voters. Whitman’s personal ratings have taken a hit this month, especially among Latino voters, an increasingly important bloc of voters.
  • While Brown has taken off in the race for Governor, the Senate race is holding steady with incumbent Barbara Boxer holding a significant 50-42 percent lead over Carly Fiorina.
  • The effort to legalize marijuana in the state, Prop. 19, is losing steam with 51 percent prepared to vote no and 39 percent voting yes.

These results and more on the race for Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor are detailed in the new poll.

Read Los Angeles Times articles:

Methodology

This survey was conducted for the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts and Sciences by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in conjunction with American Viewpoint, both based out of Washington, DC. 

These findings are based on a random sample survey of 1,501 registered voters in the state of California conducted from October 13-20, 2010. These findings are also based on 922 likely 2010 voters. Likely voters are defined as registered voters that meet certain conditions based on previous vote history as determined from a voter file, likelihood of voting in 2010, and enthusiasm in the election. This includes respondents who have already voted, voted in both the previous two general elections who indicate they are “almost certain” or “probably” will vote in 2010 and those who have registered since the 2008 election due to ineligibility who are “almost certain,” all of whom must respond as a 5 or higher on a 0-10 enthusiasm scale.

Interviews were conducted by telephone using live interviewers from Interviewing Services of America. Voters were randomly selected from a list of registered voters statewide and reached on landline or cell phone depending on the number they designated on their voter registration. The percentage of cell phone respondents in this study matches the percentage of those who list their cell phone on the voter file. Up to five attempts were made to reach and interview each randomly selected voter. In order to include a wider-range of questions in this study, some batteries of related questions were split into random half-samples, with one-half of 751 voters and the other half of 750 voters. 

An oversample of 400 Latino registered voters were interviewed by telephone. All interviews from the Latino sample were carried out by bilingual Latino interviewers, and conducted in the preferred language of the survey respondent, English or Spanish. Overall, 41 percent of interviews with the Latino sample were conducted in Spanish and 59 percent in English. The technique of using fully bilingual interviewers is greatly preferred because it does not terminate calls with Spanish-language households and require a callback, which can be difficult to schedule with language barriers. Other California polls call all phone numbers in English, and then try to arrange call-backs for households in which a language barrier existed. In contrast, the LAT-USC oversample of Latinos has much higher response and cooperation rates because of the availability of English or Spanish interviews for every single respondent surveyed. 

Upon completion of all interviewing, the results were weighted to bring the Latino oversample population into line with the racial and ethnic composition of registered voters in California. The data were weighted to reflect the total population of registered voters throughout the state, balancing on regional and demographic characteristics for gender, age, race and education according to known census estimates and voter file projections. 

The maximum sampling error for the overall sample of 1,501 registered voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error for the 922 likely voters is +/- 3.2 percentage points. The margin of error for the 460 Latino oversample respondents is +/- 4.6 percentage points.