**Posted by Phineas
Closing the gap eight points, post-debate. That sound you hear is panic buttons being hit in Chicago and the White House:
The effects of President Barack Obama’s falter in the first debate with Mitt Romney are not just being felt in battleground states, according to KPIX-TV CBS 5?s latest tracking poll of California which shows Romney slicing eight points off Obama’s lead.
Obama had led by 22 points in the CBS 5 tracking poll released four weeks ago. Obama now leads by only 14 points, an 8-point improvement for Romney. At the same time, the poll found U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s support for her re-election bid remained largely unchanged, month-on-month, suggesting that the erosion in Democratic support is not across-the-board, but contained to Obama. Unclear is whether the Obama erosion is fleeting or long-lasting.
The poll data released Wednesday showed Obama 53%, Romney 39%, in California. Obama carried the Golden State by 24 points in 2008, so the poll found Obama is now running 10 points weaker than he ran 4 years ago. Among Independents, Obama led by 14 in September, but now trails by 9 in October, a 23-point right turn among the most coveted voters. One explanation, based on the poll data: The number of Romney supporters who said they were voting “for Mitt Romney” as opposed to “against Barack Obama” is way up, month over month.
In other words, there’s almost no way Romney wins California –this state will be one of the last pockets of resistance when all else fails for the Democrats– but the trend is most definitely not Obama’s friend. If Romney is showing traction in here in La-La Land, then Team Hopenchange have to be wondering what’s happening in genuine battleground states in the West, such as Nevada or Colorado. And if Romney surge lasts or, especially, accelerates after the next debates, Obama might find himself having to defend his grip on the Golden State, diverting money and time needed elsewhere.
Good Lord. We might actually be treated as something other than an ATM. I think I need smelling salts…
I’ll note that Survey USA doesn’t provide partisan breakdowns, but anything other than a large D and I factions with a small R component wouldn’t make much sense, which means the swing in the Independent vote explains his gains. What I’d really like to see is The One’s numbers among Democrats: while the core liberal elites and the “47 percenters” in the Bay Area and Los Angeles won’t go Republican, with the state’s miserable unemployment numbers and lousy business environment, there may be a fair number of working-class and small entrepreneur Democrats willing to jump ship for a candidate who knows how jobs are created. Without seeing the breakdowns, however, that’s just a guess.
Other items to note: Sadly, Diane Feinstein’s “Opponent? What opponent?” strategy appears to be working, as Elizabeth Emken is getting almost no traction beyond the Republican base. This is a very expensive state for advertising and, without the free media time a debate would provide Emken, Feinstein can afford to ignore her. In fact, she’s smart to. Why give the opponent any opening? Still, it’s a shame. Feinstein is an aging mediocrity who in no way deserves reelection, while Emken has solid policy ideas.
Regarding California’s ballot propositions, it looks like Prop 34, to eliminate the death penalty, is going down to defeat. Once again, the public is showing it wants the law enforced and for the worst criminals to get what they deserve, but the left-wing elites do all they can to block executions, hoping to hold out until we eventually give in.
And it looks like momentum is shifting against Prop 37, a loopy, anti-scientific measure to require labeling on some genetically modified foods but not all. Like measures meant to “fight global warming,” this looks like a response to a problem that doesn’t exist; I’ve yet to see any solid evidence that genetically modified foods are harmful. What it will do, though, is increase sales costs, which will of course be passed on to the consumer, as well new income opportunities for trial lawyers.
Ever notice it’s the little guy who gets hit hardest by liberal measures we’re told are meant to help us? Hmmm…
PS: Hey, California! Romney-Ryan 2012.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)