This is the ninth survey in a series of large-scale public opinion polls that will be conducted by PPIC during the 2002 California election cycle. The purpose of the surveys is to develop an objective, in-depth profile of the social, economic, and political forces affecting public policy preferences and elections in California.
Some findings of the current survey:
- The dynamics in the governor’s race have changed dramatically. Richard Riordan still leads in the GOP primary race, but Bill Simon is gaining ground. Among likely voters, Riordan held a 37-point lead over Simon in January (41% to 4%). By mid-February, Riordan’s lead had shrunk to 17 points (41% to 24%).
- In a hypothetical match-up today for the gubernatorial election, Riordan holds a slight edge over Governor Gray Davis among all likely voters (46% to 40%), and Simon and Bill Jones have narrowed the gap between themselves and Davis since January. Davis leads Simon 44% to 40% and he leads Jones 44% to 39%.
- Independent voters are divided between voting in the GOP primary (23%) and the Democratic primary (27%), while half say they will vote in neither (32%) or haven’t made up their minds (18%).
- On a state ballot measure that would ease the restrictions on term limits (Proposition 45), 59% of likely voters today would vote no.