Independent voters could decide 2010 elections

Representing 20% of the state’s electorate, Independents are the only growing bloc of voters in California.  According to the latest poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), Independents could serve as a key indicator for next year’s mid-term elections.  Here are some of the pertinent highlights on several, critical statewide and national issues:

Top issues for 2010

52% believe the Top Two Open Primary is an important issue; 47% of Republicans and 47% of Democrats agree

31% believe legalizing marijuana is an important issue; 39% of Republicans and 39% of Democrats concur

28% are in favor of calling a constitutional convention; 36% of Republicans and 35% of Democrats are in favor

54% support lowering the budget threshold to a simple majority instead of a 2/3 supermajority; 52% of Republicans and 57% of Democrats support

40% support same-sex marriage; 52% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats agree

32% support public funding for statewide campaigns; 29% of Republicans and 37% of Democrats support

 

Gubernatorial requirements & Campaign finance

50% state that running a business is the most important qualifier for a gubernatorial candidate; 60% of Republicans and 26% of Democrats concur

32% believe previous experience in political experience is most important; 27% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats agree

50% look more favorably upon candidates who rely on campaign donations from supporters; 55% of Republicans and 46% of Democrats view favorably

29% look more favorably upon self-financing for campaigns; 38% of Republicans and 42% of Democrats agree

 

2010 candidates/potential candidates

29% are satisfied with their choice of candidates for next year’s June primary; 25% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats are satisfied

23% don’t know enough about Jerry Brown to form an opinion; 21% of Republicans and 29% of Democrats share the same view

63% state that they do not know enough about Tom Campbell to form an opinion; 58% of Republicans and 57% of Democrats agree

56% state they do not know enough about Steve Poizner to form an opinion; 64% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats concur

44% state they do not know enough about Meg Whitman to form an opinion; 51% of Republicans and 50% of Democrats agree

 

Schwarzenegger & the state legislature

54% disapprove of Arnold; 50% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats disapprove

76% disapprove of the legislature’s performance; 80% of Republicans and 71% of Democrats disapprove

 

California & the US overall directions

77% believe California is headed in the wrong direction; 82% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats agree

39% believe the US is headed in the right direction; 19% of Republicans and 56% of Democrats concur

 

California economy

63% believe the next 12 months will be financially difficult; 75% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats agree

58% believe the state is mired in a serious recession; 61% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats hold the same view

45% believe mainly spending cuts should be enacted to plug the budget deficit; 58% of Republicans and 26% of Democrats concur

6% believe mainly tax increases should be enacted to plug the deficit; 3% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats agree

36% believe a mix of spending cuts and tax increases should be enacted to plug the deficit; 32% of Republicans and 48% of Democrats agree

 

$11.1 billion water bond

36% feel that it is very important voters pass the bond; 37% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats share the same view

 

President Obama & Congress

56% approve of Obama’s performance; 25% of Republicans and 82% of Democrats approve

33% believe Obama’s economic policies have improved the country; 9% of Republicans and 43% of Democrats agree

37% approve of Congress’s performance; 18% of Republicans and 46% of Democrats approve

 

Healthcare reform

48% approve of reform proposals set forth by Obama and Congress; 18% of Republicans and 71% of Democrats approve

62% support the public option; 30% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats support

 

Afghanistan

4% feel the war is going very well; 4% of Republicans and 7% of Democrats concur

32% support Obama’s decision for a second troop surge; 54% of Republicans and 29% of Democrats support

 

As voter discontent over the Republican and Democratic parties continues to grow, Independents will play a pivotal role in the 2010 and 2012 elections, both in California and across the nation.  Perhaps we are entering the “Era of the Independent”, an era that may end up reshaping America for years to come.