California voters are increasingly downcast about the direction of the country, but — like their leaders in Washington — many would rather adhere to party orthodoxy than compromise to address the current economic problems, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows.
The findings offer little guidance for President Obama, who will unveil a jobs package this week that he hopes to push through a polarized Congress. Further troubling for the president: The survey results suggest that Republicans, even in deep-blue California, are winning the rhetorical war of words over how to frame the country’s economic troubles, and how to get out of them.
Although Obama has previously called for strategic government investments to stimulate the economy, only 37% of California voters said they favor such an approach. Instead, the Republican view — that slashing government spending to restrain the deficit will better lead to prosperity — was preferred by 49% of respondents, according to the survey sponsored by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and The Times.
“The argument of ‘We need to cut the size of government, we need to reduce the deficit’ has won, even in California,” said David Kanevsky, research director for American Viewpoint, a Republican firm that co-directed the bipartisan poll. “Stimulus is almost a four-letter word here.”
With California unemployment mired at 12%, the electorate is clearly dissatisfied with the status quo. Nearly 3 in 4 voters say the country is on the wrong track, up sharply from the 55% who felt that way in November 2009.
“We’re going to hell in a handbasket, what can I say,” said Esther Morales, 68, a Republican poll respondent who lives in a retirement community in Indio. She scoffed at the term “retirement,” however, pointing out that most of her neighbors still have to work odd jobs to make ends meet: “We’re on the fast track to nowhere.”
The fast track to nowhere is correct. Most Californians I know are extremely disgruntled, yet support Obama – at least for now.
However, if this unhappiness, particularly about business and the economy continues, and Obama sinks further in California Polls look for a HUGE GOP Presidential landslide in November 2012.