What Californians Want

While Steve Poizner is trying to use the 1994 Pete Wilson playbook and bashing immigrants in order to overcome a 50-point deficit in the polls, most Californians are interested in other issues, as the most recent Field Poll shows:

Percent who rated issue as “among the most important” in the 2010 gubernatorial election

Jobs/economy: 69%

Budget deficit: 68%

Education: 60%

Health care: 51%

Taxes: 47%

Illegal Immigration: 37%

Water: 36%

These numbers hold true for Decline to State voters, only 30% of whom rank illegal immigration as an important issue, and whose top 3 are the same as the rest of the electorate. Unsurprisingly, 58% in the nativist Republican Party rank immigration is an important issue.

What this suggests is that Steve Poizner might be able to close some of the gap with Meg Whitman through immigrant bashing, it will backfire in the general election if he were to somehow pull off the most miraculous comeback of all time and win the GOP nomination.

Unfortunately, this poll also suggests Whitman is on to something with her campaign messaging that emphasizes three issues: jobs, state budget, and education, in exactly the same order as they appeared in this poll. It’s possible that Whitman’s saturation bombing of the airwaves helped produce these poll results, but in any case she is well positioned to take advantage.

Jerry Brown is still rolling out his own campaign, but will need to also deliver clear and consistent messaging on jobs, the budget, and education. Ultimately those three are all related, since the budget should properly fund education in order to ensure that we have enough jobs for Californians. And Whitman can’t credibly claim to do that, not with her demands for massive and unaffordable tax cuts.

What the Field Poll shows is that Californians are very concerned about their future. The candidate who best addresses those concerns and shows a vision for the next 30 years will be the victor in November.

2 thoughts on “What Californians Want”

  1. Whitman has reinforced the numbers, but this has confirms my take on the election all along. If you’re not talking about education and jobs,you are not going to get the votes that you need to win as a Democrat among young people and women.

    What “budget deficit” means to people is a pretty interesting question. Perception is that the state is broken, but nobody quite knows why, although they really want to blame Arnold and the legislatrure.

    Cross tabs are pretty interesting, especially with the tea-party supporter break-out tab and the Latino voters.

  2.  People don’t understand the budget, I wish polls would stop trumping that. Its easy to point fingers but they often point fingers in the wrong direction.

    By state charter we are required to have a balanced budget, so what’s the worry? The worry is when they have to balance the budget, they have to make cuts if they are running at a deficit.

    Of course you can’t explain this in 30 second sound bites so how many Californians actually know? Maybe 1/3 at best.

    All Brown has to do actually is tax the rich and explain they have been the ones getting away with not paying their fair share since he was in office.

    Jobs can be created and health care solved in one fell swoop – SB810

    The extra tax money from legalizing Marijuana and taxing the rich will allow more money to be spent on Education.

    Water can be saved by encouraging home owners to convert their lawns to fake grass. My parents are already interested in the conversion, it would save money water usage and fees to maintain the lawn.

    Desalination should also be talked about more.

    This will sort itself out, I would suggest Calitics try and push Brown in the direction it needs to go instead of looking at polls that suggest eMeg’s laughable campaign should be taken seriously. Like I said, elsewhere do you really think people are foolish enough to put Republicans back in power anywhere in the country unless your a Red state to start with???


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