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Obama Ahead 56% to 39% in Vote-rich California

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of California voters makes it clear why John McCain isn’t predicating his election strategy on carrying the nation’s most populous state and its 54 Electoral College votes.

Barack Obama now leads McCain 56% to 39% in California (see crosstabs). Last month, the Democrat was ahead of his Republican rival 51% to 37%.

Obama has held a double-digit lead over McCain in California in every poll but one this year. In April the Democrat led by just seven points.

Nationally, the race between Obama and McCain remains very close in the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll which is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.

(Want a free daily e-mail update ? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).

Unlike voters in much of the country, California voters, a majority of whom last went for a Republican presidential candidate in 1988, haven’t been swayed by McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate either. The Alaska governor is viewed favorably by 39% and unfavorably by 55%. That latter figure includes 40% with a Very Unfavorably opinion. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say McCain made the right choice when he picked her, but 53% say he didn’t.

By comparison, 54% have a favorable view of Obama’s running mate Joseph Biden, and just 38% regard him unfavorably. Forty-two percent (42%) say Obama made the right pick, while 32% disagree.

Palin is considered at least somewhat conservative by 83% of California voters, including 58% who describe her as Very Conservative. Biden is considered at least somewhat liberal by 47%, with 17% saying he is Very Liberal. Over one-third (35%) say he is a moderate.

McCain is viewed favorably and unfavorably by just under half of voters. Sixty-four percent (64%) regard Obama favorably, while 35% have an unfavorable view of him. These numbers are similar to the findings a month ago.

Obama has 77% of the state’s Hispanic vote.

Rasmussen Markets data show that Democrats have a % chance of winning California this November. Al Gore beat George W. Bush by 11 points in California in the 2000 election, and four years later John Kerry carried the state by 10 points. At the time this poll was released, California is listed as "Safely Democratic" in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. NOTE: Factors other than the latest Rasmussen Reports poll impact the Balance of Power ratings. The current status is indicated on the table in the upper right hand corner of this article.

Nearly two-thirds of California voters (65%) say they will be voting with enthusiasm for their presidential candidate this November, but 26% say they will be voting primarily against the opposing candidate.Forty-three percent (43%) say economic issues are the most important concern of this election year, while 21% believe national security is paramount.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s job performance earns good or excellent marks from 38% of voters, up 10 points from a month ago, but 29% say he is doing a poor job. The latter is down three from August.

President Bush, as in much of the country, fares much worse. Just 24% rate his job performance good or excellent, but 60% grade him poor.

Rasmussen Reports and Fox News Channel jointly released a series of battleground state polls Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. See overview of all polling released this week with results from Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Additional state poll results will be released at RasmussenReports.com each Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern and Tuesday-Friday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

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See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs are available to Premium Members only.

California Safe Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

"538" Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

McCain (R)

34%

38%

37%

Obama (D)

61%

58%

55%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 22, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


California Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

10/25/2008

34%

61%

10/09/2008

40%

56%

09/22/2008

39%

56%

08/20/2008

37%

51%

07/24/2008

38%

50%

06/23/2008

30%

58%

05/20/2008

38%

52%

04/16/2008

43%

50%

03/12/2008

38%

53%


Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in California

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

19%

52%

Somewhat Favorable

25%

15%

Somewhat Unfavorable

24%

8%

Very Unfavorable

30%

22%

Not Sure

2%

2%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.