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Field Poll: Californians skeptical ahead of 2012 presidential election

by Kymberly Bays, published

A Field Poll released on Thursday reveals that Californians are frustrated with the current political process and have a bleak outlook for the country's future- even with a presidential election approaching in 2012.

In assessing the sentiment of California's voters, Field found that less than half - 45%- are inclined to have Barack Obama serve another term as President. At the same time, when matched up against former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, President Obama leads among Californians by a margin of 50% to 40%. Paired against whom some hail at the moment  as the leading contender- Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrinch- President Obama pulls ahead by a wider margin of 55% to 35% in general election trial heats.

Along with polling these potential head-to-head matchups, President Obama's job ratings in the state remain 'lackluster'. Only 48% approve of his current job performance while 44% disapprove. This is certainly better, however, than the average he's receiving nationally, with 44% approving and 51% disapproving.

Even with President Obama struggling somewhat in California, the current Republican frontrunner candidates are still behind.  In what might be an indicator of how influential non-partisan voters could be in shaping the 2012 presidential race, Field's findings show how the state's non-partisan voters account for the meaningful difference in Romney-Obama and Gingrich-Obama matchups. Romney's somewhat stronger showing against Obama is attributed almost entirely to the general election preferences of California's non-partisan voters. Romney is statistically tied with Obama-42% to 41%-in this latest poll. On the other hand, in a head to head matchup with Gingrich, Obama gets a significantly larger share of non-partisan voters by a margin of 35 points.

What could be considered one of the most significant aspects of the poll is the way California voters feel about the direction of the country. Currently, 70% of the state believes the country is seriously off track.  43% of voters in the state don't believe that either reelecting Obama or electing the eventual Republican nominee will do much to remedy the country's economic problems. Only 27% of voters believe that relecting Obama will solve the nation's myriad problems, while only 25% believe that the GOP nominee will turn things around. This trend, if persistent, could arguably spell trouble for the two-party system in the future.  56% of non-partisans  in the state are skeptical that next year's election will make a difference in impr0ving the economy.

This latest Field Poll was conducted Nov. 15-27 with a sample  of 1,000 registered California voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%. Questions asked to a random subsample of voters, such as the head to head matchups with President Obama among others, had a margin of error of 4.5%.

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