Voters who are optimistic of an economic rebound in California tend to back President Barack Obama in the November election, a new Field Poll has found.

BY JEFF HORSEMAN
STAFF WRITER
jhorseman@pe.com

Published: 11 July 2012 06:01 AM

Democratic President Barack Obama fares well among California voters who expect the state’s economy to bounce back, but more pessimistic voters prefer Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the November election, according to a new survey.

Results from the Field Poll released Wednesday, July 11, found that 88 percent of California’s registered voters think the state’s economy is in bad shape. Since 2008, at least 86 percent of respondents said the state was in tough economic times and not since 2001 have a majority of voters felt good about the economy.

The gloomy outlook persists regardless of political party. Eighty-six percent of Democratic voters and 91 percent of Republican voters gave poor marks to the state economy, according to the poll conducted for The Press-Enterprise and other California media subscribers.

But 40 percent of Obama voters expect things to turn around next year, while 43 percent of Romney’s supporters believe California’s economy will worsen.

Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said it’s “kind of an unusual thing” to see such a strong link between economic outlook and voters’ presidential picks. The economy wasn’t as dismal in 2004, the last time an incumbent president – George W. Bush – ran for re-election, DiCamillo said.

“Obama supporters are saying, ‘We’re close to the end,’ while the Romney supporters are saying, ‘Things are going to be worse,’” he said. “It’s interesting how (each campaign’s message has) been absorbed by voters and clearly they play it back in terms of their expectations for the economy.”

In an email, Republican National Committee spokesman Matt Connelly wrote: “President Obama has made it clear he believes our economy is taking a ‘step in the right direction.’ But for middle-class Americans the Obama economy is upside down.”

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