If it comes down to California, GOP voters are divided
November 30th, 2011
11:54 AM ET
11 years ago

If it comes down to California, GOP voters are divided

(CNN) - Their presidential primary contest is a long way off, but as of right now a new poll indicates California Republicans are split between front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

California, along with Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, hold their contests on June 5. Only Ohio and Utah vote after the 5th. The battle for the GOP nomination could be long over by June, but if it does last, California, thanks to its size, could put the eventual nominee over the top.

According to a Field Poll released Wednesday, 26% of Golden State Republicans say they support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the White House, as their party's nominee, with 23% saying they back Gingrich, the former House speaker. Romney's three point margin is within the survey's sampling error.

All the other GOP presidential candidates register in the single digits in poll, with 26% undecided. And nearly eight in ten who say they are backing a candidate also say they may change their mind between now and next June.

About a quarter of California Republicans identify themselves with the tea party movement, and among them Gingrich leads Romney 38% to 18%. But among all other Republicans, Romney is ahead of Gingrich 29% to 18%.

California traditionally held its presidential primary in June, but starting in 1992 it moved up its contest. Now the state is back to holding their presidential primary in June. The last time a California primary in June was influential in deciding a party's presidential nominee was 1972.

The Field Poll was conducted November 15-27, with 1,000 registered voters, including 330 registered Republicans, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for GOP primary questions is plus or minus 5.7 percentage points.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN

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Filed under: 2012 • California
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. duncanandrew

    What a choice? The lesser of the two evils. Mitt Romney changes his opinions on any topic faster than a chameleon can change colors. Indecision 2012 the year the Republican Party failed our country. There just isn't any hope in the GOP who is only out to help the super rich, the insurance industry, the big oil and coal industries and the Koch Brothers specifically.

    November 30, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Thinker

    Ron Paul won the California straw poll.

    November 30, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. v_mag

    Why do voters continue to accept this "system" which disenfranchises the large majority of voters of both parties? Why do Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina (some of which are not the most stellar examples of statehood) get to choose who the rest of us can vote on for president?

    By the time I get to vote, it's all over. By the time the general election comes, my Texas vote is meaningless, since the Electoral College dictates that Texas will always vote for whatever lunatic Repugnant gets nominated by a few small states.

    Are you satisfied with that kind of system? Is this democracy in any way?

    November 30, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Rsprings

    As a California resident, I can tell you that not only has a Democrat President failed the Democrat controlled California State Assembly (40 years) has ruined the State. Spending is out of control, taxes are high. We have a $20 Billion deficit. Unions are running a muck, pensions are out of sight..unfunded by Billions of dollars. Our infrastructure is broken. Businesses are leaving in droves due to high cost, taxes and over regulation. Illegals are costing billions more . Crime is rampant. Gratefully , the weather is good otherwise i would leave as well. Vote the Dems out Give someone else a chance.

    November 30, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Whoever gets the GOP nod will lose California by 6% so who cares? I hope Gingrich is the nominee – He'd motivate the Democrat base to come out in droves.

    November 30, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Thinker wrote:

    Ron Paul won the California straw poll.
    Do you know why it is called a "straw" poll? Because the results form the backbone for a straw man argument.

    November 30, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. MTATL67

    I'm an independent and with the GOP field the way it is now. I'm going to vote for President Obama but I have got to shake my head at Republican's choices. I would not listen or pay close attention to what either one of this two have to say. Now if Mr. Huntsman were nominated I would take a moment to listen because he grasps the issues that actually impact the welfare of this country. The Republican party Clearly has no real interest in winning the White House or keeping control of the House or preventing the loss of seats in the Senate but that is exactly what is going to happen.

    November 30, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Edwin Merit

    Hasn't Ron Paul dominated all the straw polls held in California?
    I actually think that Calif. may be Paul's state to claim his own since most of the voters in Calif. are probably more likely to side with him on such issues as the Drug War, Foreign Policy and the consequences of Debt Spending.

    November 30, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Debbie

    None of the above would be my choice. Flip, flop, flipper GWB backed Romney or wife cheater and over 80+ ethics violations Gingrich is choice? If the nomination comes before June California will be saved by other states from a horrible selection of GOP candidates.

    November 30, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |