New University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll


On behalf of the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, in conjunction with American Viewpoint, conducted a new survey among 1,508 registered California voters. The latest survey shows:

  • Obama strongly leads GOP candidates in California poll,
  • Romney, Perry Tied for Lead Among Republican Voters in California, 
  • Poll illustrates California voters' anger,
  • CA Voters Reluctant to Compromise,
  • War on terrorism a priority to California voters,
  • U.S. Is Winning The War On Terrorism, Californians Say, But Need For Fight Continues

Key Findings

USC Dornsife College-LA Times-FQ-Final

USC Dornsife College-LA Times-Crosstabs-Final

  • Similar to the rest of the country, California voters are frustrated with Washington. Only 16 percent think the country is on the right track and only 18 percent approve of the job being done by the U.S. Congress. Compromise is not the solution in these voters’ minds, however - both parties’ voters put their priorities ahead of compromise.
  • While the mood of the country and state is bleak, President Obama’s personal favorability remains strong. Obama’s vote share is currently slightly lower than the 61 percent he won in California in 2008, but the closest any of the Republican Presidential contenders gets to him in a vote matchup is Mitt Romney at 19 points. With an entrenched Democratic political base and culture, California remains reliably in President Obama’s corner with no current signs of a viable alternative.
  • As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, California voters have accepted a new status quo when it comes to national security and the war on terror. A majority think the results of 9/11 have resulted in a fundamental change in the way Americans live their daily lives, but a plurality feels we are achieving the right balance between combating terrorism and protecting the civil liberties of our citizens. In general, people are content with continuing our current course of action and give President Obama high marks on combating terrorism.

Articles

September 4

Obama strongly leads GOP candidates in California poll - LA Times story

Romney, Perry Tied for Lead Among Republican Voters in California - USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences story

September 5

Poll illustrates California voters' anger - LA Times story

CA Voters Reluctant to Compromise - USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences story

September 7

War on terrorism a priority to California voters, poll finds - LA Times story

U.S. Is Winning The War On Terrorism, Californians Say, But Need For Fight Continues - USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences story

Methodology

These findings are based on a random sample survey of 1,508 (1,408 weighted) registered voters in the state of California, conducted from August 17th - 28th, 2011. 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 a landline or cell phone depending on the number they designated on their voter registration. Fifteen percent of this sample was reached on a cell phone. Up to five attempts were made to reach and interview each randomly selected voter. In order to examine distinctions and include a wider range of questions in this study, some questions were split into random half-samples, with 704 respondents in each split sample. 

The study includes an oversample of Latino registered voters, with the total number of Latino voters interviewed at 460 (282 weighted). All interviews among known Latinos were carried out via telephone by bilingual Latino interviewers, and conducted in the preferred language of the survey respondent, English or Spanish. Overall, 35 percent of interviews among the known Latino sample were conducted in Spanish and 65 percent in English. The technique of using fully bilingual interviewers yields higher response and cooperation rates and is greatly preferred because it does not terminate calls with Spanish-language households and require a callback. 

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, party registration and education according to known census estimates and voter file projections. 

The maximum sampling error for the overall sample of 1,508 registered voters is +/- 2.52 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for the 483 Latino sample respondents is +/- 4.46 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.