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Survey Shows Students Taking Government Classes Favor Governor Recall


September 29, 2003

• CSUF Students Support Recall
• Would Vote For Schwarzenegger As Replacement For Gray Davis

Some 74% of students in Fall 2003 classes of “Introduction to American Government” at Cal State Fullerton would vote “yes” to recall Governor Gray Davis, according to a survey undertaken in the first two weeks of classes.

“The statistic is based upon the 908 students who offered an opinion, among 1,115 surveyed,” commented Keith Boyum, director of the CSUF Center for Public Policy. Some 190 of the students responded positively to the questionnaire option that read, “I do not plan to vote.”

Students were asked the same question that was asked of a representative sample of residents of Orange County, in a survey taken between Aug. 26 and Sept. 10, 2003, sponsored by the Center for Public Policy and the Orange County Business Council. The question was as follows:

If the special election to recall Governor Davis were held today, would you vote “yes” to remove Davis as governor or “no” to keep Davis as governor?

Because the same question was asked during the same approximate time period of both the sample of Orange County residents and of students in the CSUF classes, comparisons may be appropriately made.

On the question of whether to recall governor Davis, the comparisons are:

CSUF Introduction to American Government Students 74% Yes, do recall
Sample of Orange County Residents 72% Yes, do recall

“As may be obvious, these proportions are virtually identical,” commented Boyum.

Both surveys went on to ask respondents about their support for replacements, should Davis be recalled. The question asked was this:

If Governor Davis is recalled and removed from office, which of the follow-ing would you vote for as his replacement, if the election were held today?

a. Lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat
b. Green Party leader and former candidate for governor Peter Camejo
c. Columnist Arianna Huffington, an Independent
d. State Senator Thomas McClintock, a Republican
e. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican
f. Businessman and former candidate for governor Bill Simon, a Republican
g. Businessman and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, a Republican running as an Independent

As will be noted, the choices included Bill Simon, who dropped out as the surveys were about to begin, and also included Peter Ueberroth, who quit the race as both surveys were about to conclude.

Results are displayed for each group in Table One.

Table 1
Choice for Governor if Davis is Recalled
  Sample Survey of Orange County Residents Survey of Introduction to American Government Students at Cal State Fullerton
Schwarzenegger 44% 41%
Bustamante 21% 29%
McClintock 15% 11%
Ueberroth 13% 6%
Simon 3% 4%
Camejo 2% 5%
Huffington 1% 5%
Another Candidate 2% [not asked]
Totals: 101% 101%
*rounding errors

The survey of Orange County residents was undertaken by the Center for Public Policy (CSUF) / Orange County Business Council partnership between Aug. 26 and Sept. 10, 2003. A full report of the survey may be found either on the OCBC web site (see: http://www.ocbc.org/resourcesf.htm) or by contacting Keith Boyum, Center for Public Policy Director.

For Further Information:

Dr. Alan Saltzstein, Chair, Division of Political Science & Criminal Justice

Dr. Keith Boyum, Director, Center for Public Policy
657-278-4831 / 657-278-3602

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