October 27th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Democrats on top in California governor and Senate contests

(CNN) - A new survey indicates that the Democrats have slight advantages in the California battles for senator and governor.

According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday, 50 percent of likely voters in the Golden State say they support Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, with 45 percent backing Republican challenger Carly Fiorina and four percent undecided or backing a different candidate. Boxer's five point margin is within the survey's sampling error and is down from a nine point advantage in CNN/Time polling from last month.

Full results (pdf)

Most other polls released over the past two weeks also indicate the three term senator holding a single digit advantage over Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO.

According to the CNN/Time survey, Boxer leads 90 to 6 percent among Democrats while Fiorina leads 97 to 3 percent among Republicans and holds a 49 to 41 percent advantage over Boxer among independent voters.

"Boxer racks up big margins in Los Angeles County and her home territory in the Bay Area," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Fiorina has an edge in the rest of Southern California and in the Central Valley. The factor that may put Boxer over the top is her 12-point lead among women."

In a sign that enthusiasm for voting appears to be on the Republican side, when expanded from those likely to vote to the larger sample of all registered voters, Boxer's five point advantage jumps to a 16 point lead.

According to the poll, California Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown holds a seven point lead over Meg Whitman, the Republican nominee. Fifty-one percent of likely voters say they support Brown with 44 percent saying they back Whitman, the former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and a billionaire who's contributed more than $120 million of her own money on her bid for governor.

Brown's seven point advantage is at the edge of the poll's sampling error and compares to a nine point lead in late September. Most other surveys out in the past two weeks indicate a large single digit margin for Brown, who served two terms as California governor in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

According to the CNN/Time poll, Brown leads 88 to 8 percent among Democrats while Whitman leads 93 to 5 percent among Republicans and holds a 48 to 45 percent margin among independent voters.

"Geographically, Brown has the same strengths and weaknesses as Boxer - a strong showing in L.A. and the Bay Area, and a deficit in Southern California and the Central Valley," says Holland. "And despite the fact that Brown is running against a woman, he appears to be doing slightly better among female voters than Boxer, with a 14-point margin in that key group."

Brown's seven point advantage among likely voters jumps to a 56 to 38 percent lead among the larger sampling of registered voters.

The poll indicates that by a 53 to 45 percent margin, likely voters are opposed to California's proposition to legalize marijuana.

"Legalizing marijuana has opened a big generation gap in the Golden State," says Holland. "Nearly six in ten voters under the age of 50 support Proposition 19 while six in ten older voters oppose it. Among senior citizens, support drops to just 33 percent."
Proponents of Prop 19 say it would generate much needed revenue and cut drug enforcement costs. The California Attorney General's office estimated that the measure has the potential to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars annually in taxes and fees, while saving the state tens of millions of dollars annually on costs related to incarceration and supervision of marijuana offenders.

President Barack Obama campaigned for Boxer and Brown last week. The poll indicates that 48 percent of likely voters approve of the job Obama's doing as president, with 47 percent disapproving. Among all adults, Obama's approval rating jumps to 54 percent, with 37 percent saying they disapprove of how he's handling his duties.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 20-26, with 1,527 adults in California questioned by telephone, including 1,329 registered voters and 888 likely voters. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2010 • Barbara Boxer • California • CNN/Time poll • Jerry Brown • Meg Whitman • Polls
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. stufit

    This reflects the proliferation of drug users in the state. No sense of responsibility, just entitlement, Democrat type people.

    October 27, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    you mean that fiorina's last minute try for sympathy didn't work? I am sorry, but as a woman I feel for her but as a citizen of the US I don't care for her sending HP jobs overseas while she swam in millions. She has healthcare and money to help her along.
    whitman can't keep track of someone who cleans her house even though there were questions as to the woman's illegal status.

    October 27, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. T'SAH from Virginia


    That's right – keep posting some GOOD that is going on in the Political world that shows we DEMOCRATS are EXCITED and ENTHUSED and we will get out there and VOTE on November 2, 2010!!!

    Yes We – Can – Will – Should – Won't get distracted – Are Strong – Are Diversed – Are Intelligent..... And most of all, we're PROUD of our President!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!

    October 27, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. vic nashville tn

    Two top CEO trailing in the polls but Angle leading in Nevada

    Thanks to tea party

    October 27, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Riley

    Are California voters really foolish enough to vote for Bronw and Boxer AGAIN!!! Shame on them.

    October 27, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. AMEN

    OH WOW! I am SHOCKED! SHOCKED I tell ya! Californians voting for DEMOCRATS??? What's the world coming to? Is that why we call it the LEFT COAST? lol. I wish California would just secede and take all there communist loons with them.

    October 27, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Dr. John Carvalho

    The choice between Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Carly Fiorina for the U.S. Senate is striking. Carly Fiorina would be a disaster for the California economy. Fiorina is not out for the middle class. When she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she layed off 30,000 employees, shipped jobs overseas, and walked away with a $100 million bonus. In contrast, Boxer is trying to create and preserve jobs. As a case in point, she voted for the “Economic Stabilization Bill”, which secured countless jobs in California, fended off a worse economic recession, and improved the educational and public works infrastructure of our state. Fiorina does not support the Economic Stabilization legislation, which is shocking given California’s economic woes.

    Carly Fiorina supports off shore oil drilling. Boxer, by contrast, is a long term champion of the environment and wants to preserve our beautiful coastlines, which attract many tourist dollars to our state. Furthermore, Boxer is excited about green energy and the ability to produce green energy jobs. Fiorina appears lackluster on innovative technology and uninterested in getting America out of its oil dependency. If elected, Fiorina would side with the interests of the wealthiest corporations in America and give them tax cuts that would undermine state revenues. Boxer, by contrast, wants to curb the Wall Street crime that caused the economic meltdown to start with. In short, Democrat Barbara Boxer will improve the California economy; Republican Carly Fiorina will worsen it. If Californians want to go beyond George W. Bush era policies, then they should vote Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate. Their pocket books won’t regret it.

    October 27, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom(real one)

    @ AMEN....... "communist loons" wow....... back to the 50's, eh??? It IS funny that the constant attack from the Far-right-Republicans is "communists!" or "socialists!" You, Republicans, don't offer an intelligent debate, only .......name calling!

    Barbara Boxer will WIN, because Latinos in California have been insulted by the TEApublicans long enough! The GOP has lost the support of Latinos, Blacks, Gays, Women, etc., only the ........... angry folks are left!

    October 27, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. D. Bunker

    Ignore these phony landline polls, which the so-called "liberal" media keep pushing in an apparent effort to discourage Dem voters. Average hard working Americans have seen the light, and recognize that the GOBP is a desperate cult, and rather than admit their articles of faith, such as deregulation, tax cuts for the ultrarich and unfair global trade, are PROVEN FAILURES, these nutjob extremists instead are seeking to spread their darkness of ignorance, fear, lies, and hate. We are the light, and our votes will send the teatards scuttling away, like cockroaches from the light. The Party of NO has no plan, no valid ideas and certainly no concern for Main St. America. They are massively out of touch with the poor and working class. We know this, and will vote accordingly. Then get your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to vote for non-teatards as well.

    October 27, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Dale

    They used to call California the land of fruits and nuts. Now they should call it the land of liberals, public employee unions and losers. Losers being the hardworking people who pay the bills for the other two.

    October 27, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. Sorensen

    Whitman just killed her last chance ever to win anything. She should have spent her former shareholders money on
    something intelligent.
    Fiorina has been a total failure from before she started in politics. She should just go away.

    October 27, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Amelia

    Enough of Obama and change. Change is needed in bankrupt CA. Two strong, experienced women who care about Californians. Vote Republican! Go Carly and Meg!

    October 27, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Don't let up, Democrats! Now is not the time to be complacent – Republicans have shown they will stop at NOTHING from trying to regain control of our country (so they can finish us off, once and for all).

    There are more registered Democrats than Republicans in this country ... DEMS, GET OUT AND VOTE!

    October 27, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    Dr. John Carvalho
    ...Boxer is trying to create and preserve jobs...
    Yeah, through massive government spending. Look around you. See how well that works?!?! It doesn't. Never has. Never will. Boxer is 100% politician and 0% economist. She just gives Obama whatever he asks for. No questions asked. Too bad he also doesn't know anything about economics. Americans can't afford more of their economic experiments. We need people who understand economics. Like Carly Fiorina. We are fortunate someone as brilliant as her is interested in the job.

    October 27, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. Tinkers Dam

    Boxer, Pelosi, (soon to be) Brown.......California deserves every problem they currently have.

    October 27, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. George of the jungle

    vote the repos ot. Enough lies and raceism. let's move forward. Get out and vote and make sure everyone you now votes.

    October 27, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |