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County Residents Say ‘Yes’ to Recall,
Schwarzenegger, Props


September 17, 2003

Latest Findings, CSUF – OCBC Quarterly Survey:

Orange County Residents:
Support Recall
Support Schwarzenegger
Support Both Props 53 and 54
• 72% would vote "yes" on recalling Governor Gray Davis
• About half would choose Arnold Schwarzenegger as replacement; about a quarter would choose Cruz Bustamante; about a fifth would choose Tom McClintock
• About two-thirds would vote "yes" on both Props 54 and 53


Orange County Residents Say ‘Yes’ to Recall of Governor Gray Davis

Seven out of ten favor recall. Some 72% of Orange County residents would – if the election were held today – vote in favor of the recall, to remove Governor Davis from office.

Of the 506 Orange County residents reached in a telephone survey conducted between Aug. 26 and Sept. 10, 2003, 28% said they would vote against the recall.

After first introducing the topic, the survey asked this question.

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?

As is evident, the survey was completed before the recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit concerning a postponement of the recall election that had been set for October 7.

No change when compared to summer 2003. A similar survey of Orange County residents undertaken between June 23 and July 8, 2003, found an identical result: 72% in favor of the recall; 28% opposed. The earlier survey was also the product of the Cal State Fullerton Center for Public Policy / Orange County Business Council partnership, and the identical question was asked.

“Excited partisans on either side might have expected movement in their direction, given the remarkable press coverage of the special election,” commented Keith Boyum, Center for Public Policy director. “However, we see no change at all for what will be the first question on the ballot, namely, whether to recall the governor.”

Previous Orange County Soundings on Gray Davis: Previous Center for Public Policy / Orange County Business Council surveys of residents of Orange County have asked respondents for their views about Gray Davis. Davis has never done well.

• When asked in July 2001 about the job Davis had done in handling the electrical crisis in California, 52% of Orange County residents gave him either “very poor” or “poor” evaluations.

• When asked in a February 2002 pre-primary election survey about their preferences in hypothetical races between Davis and Riordan, or Davis and Simon, Orange County residents preferred Riordan by a wide margin, with Davis trailing Simon in the county by a very small margin.

• When asked in October 2002 about their preferences for governor [in that upcoming November election], only 65% of Democrats prefer-red Davis for the job, with 35% of Democrats preferring another candidate.

• When asked in June / July 2003 whether they approved or disapproved of the job being done by Gray Davis as governor, 82% of Orange County residents reported that they disapproved of his job performance.

Support / oppose various candidates. The survey went on to ask Orange County residents about their support for / opposition to leading candidates. We asked the following question.

Many people have decided to run for governor in the special October election. For each of the following, please tell me whether you strongly oppose, somewhat oppose, somewhat support, or strongly support him or her as a candidate for governor.

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

The candidate names were rotated during the administration of the survey, meaning that the order in which they were asked changed from respondent to respondent, with each candidate having equal turns to be asked first, to be asked second, etc.
• Options offered to survey respondents included former candidate Bill Simon even though he had dropped out of the race on Aug. 23, because his name will still appear on an October 7 ballot. The survey also included former candidate Ueberroth, whose withdrawal on Sept. 9 occurred as this survey was near completion. As with Simon, Ueberrothís name will be on the ballot in the event that a recall election is held on October 7.
Results are set out in Table One.

Table One
Levels of Support / Opposition to Candidates for Governor*
Strongly Support
Somewhat Support
Somewhat Oppose
Strongy Oppose
*Rounding errors may make totals for each candidate equal other-than 100%
Voter choice if election were held today. The survey then went on to ask the following question.
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?

Voters were given the same choices as were provided in the question concerning the level of support / opposition. Results are displayed in Table Two.

Table Two
Choice for Governor if Davis is Recalled
Another candidate
* Rounding error

Democrats for Bustamante, Schwarzenegger.
Interesting patterns in the data suggest that at the time of this survey, candidate choices were not fully solidified. Only 43% of Democrats named Bustamante, the only Democrat in the race, when asked who they would vote for to replace Davis. But 31% of Democrats named Arnold Schwarzenegger, and another 12% of Democrats said they would vote for Ueberroth if the election were held “today.”

Republicans for Schwarzenegger, McClintock. Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger was carrying respondents who self-identified as Republicans, with 51% of the hypothetical “votes.” McClintock had 23% of Republicans (but only 8% of Democrats), with 15% of the Republican respondents saying they would vote for Ueberroth if the election were held “today.”

No Differences by Gender. There were no significant differences by gender. The breakdown for men and women was approximately the same on their choices for a replacement for Davis, were the recall to succeed.

Projecting – Analytically Reassigning – Simon, Ueberroth “Votes.” In an analytical exercise, we may assign Simon and Ueberroth votes to other candidates. That is, we here project what vote choices might be.

The simplest exercise is simply to discard the Ueberroth and Simon votes. Doing so makes the implicit assumption that votes for Ueberroth and Simon would fall along the same pattern as is shown in Table Two, but obviously with those two withdrawn candidates excluded. Results are shown in Table Three.

Table Three
Choice for Governor if Davis is Recalled –
Distributing Simon & Ueberroth Votes According To Simple Popularity of the Other Candidates
Another candidate

An alternate projection, which yields the same approximate result, is described in Appendix I.

“The result of all of this is less complicated than two means of projecting would make it seem,” said Boyum. “Using not one but two methods to re-assign, on a projection basis, the votes in Orange County that otherwise would have gone to Simon and Ueberroth respectively, we have remarkable convergence:
• about half of Orange County voters choose Schwarzenegger to replace Davis;
• about one out of four choose Bustamante, and
• about one out of five choose McClintock.”

“The others were classic also-rans in the time period that our survey was administered,” said Boyum.

“Orange County is certainly Schwarzenegger country,” noted Phillip Gianos, CSUF professor of political science. “He’s garnering half of the votes here. That’s clearly better at the time of our survey than Schwarzenegger was doing statewide.

“On the other hand,” noted Gianos, “Republican partisans would surely prefer a vote for a single candidate that somehow combined the tallies for Schwarzenegger and for McClintock. If that were accomplished, the (hypothetical) single Republican candidate might carry Orange County by about 70% of the vote.”

“These are really interesting numbers,” said Stan Oftelie, president and CEO, Orange County Business Council. “It looks like we will have months and months to ponder their meaning — and probably watch them change.”

Orange County Residents Say ‘Yes’ to Both Propositions
On the October 7 Ballot

Two-thirds favor Proposition 54, but lack information. Some 67% of Orange County residents would – if the election were held today – vote in favor of Proposition 54, known informally by the name its proponents use, the “Racial Privacy Initiative.”

Of the 506 Orange County residents reached in a telephone survey between Aug. 26 and Sept. 10, 2003, 33% said they would vote against the ballot measure.

After first introducing the topic, the survey first asked this question about familiarity with the proposition.
Also on the October ballot will be Proposition 54, sometimes called the ìRacial Privacy Initiative,î sponsored by UC Regent Ward Connerly. Would you say you are not familiar at all, somewhat unfamiliar, somewhat familiar, or very familiar with Proposition 54?

Republicans favor Prop 54 more than Democrats. There were noticeable differences according to the political party that survey respondents reported being registered with. Some 58% of Democrats, but 85% of Republicans reported that they were ready to vote in favor of the ballot measure.

More than seven out of ten said that they were “not familiar at all” [61%] or “somewhat unfamiliar” [12%]. Just 7% said they were “very familiar” with the measure.

The survey went on to describe the measure, and to ask for a voting intention, using these words.
As you may know, Proposition 54, the Racial Privacy Initiative, would prohibit state and local governments from using race, ethnicity, color or national origin to classify current or prospective students, contractors, or employees in public education, contracting or employment. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on this measure?
As noted, two-thirds of our sample of Orange County residents said they would vote yes on the measure.
• No change in support for Prop 54 since last survey. By way of comparison, the Center for Public Policy / OCBC survey asked the same question about Proposition 54 in its June-July, 2003 survey. At that time, 69% told survey interviewers that they would vote yes on the measure, with 31% saying they would vote no. The small difference between the September and June / July surveys lies within the sampleís margin of error, and the best interpretation of the comparison, therefore, is that there has been no discernible change in opinions between early summer and early fall.
Almost two-thirds favor Proposition 53, but nearly all lack information. Some 65% of Orange County residents responded ‘yes’ to the following question about Prop 53.
As you may know, the Infrastructure Investment Fund proposed in Prop-osi-tion 53 would dedicate up to three percent of the stateís general fund for constructing or renovating state infrastructure, including street, tran-s-portation, water, park, and open space projects. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on this measure?
Yet it was clear that respondents were offering their opinion on the basis of information contained in the survey questions. Before we asked our question about voting intentions, we asked this question.
Also on the October ballot will be Proposition 53, which would set up an Infrastructure Investment Fund for the state. Would you say you are not familiar at all, somewhat unfamiliar, somewhat familiar, or very familiar with Proposition 53?

Orange County residents have almost no information about Prop 53. Over-whelm-ing-ly, people confessed ignorance about this infrastructure fund measure, with 78% saying they were “not familiar at all” with the measure, and another 8% saying they were “somewhat unfamiliar.” Only 3% in the survey told interviewers that they were “very familiar” with the provisions of Proposition 53.

More Democrats than Republicans favor Prop 53. On the basis of the information that survey interviewers gave them, then, we saw differences by political party, as reported by survey respondents. Among those who said that they were registered Democrats, 71% said that yes, they would today vote in favor of Prop 53. Only 60% of Republicans said that they would cast a similar ballot in favor of Prop 53.

Keith Boyum noted: “Given the high profile of the recall issue, and the likely debate yet fully to flower concerning the Prop 54 measure championed by University of California Regent Ward Connerly, Prop 53 seems destined to remain in the shadows. If so, and if ordinary voters get little or no information on Prop 53 – it seems likely to be decided by people noticing the measure for the first time when in the ballot box. We know that ballot-box budgeting is popular. On that basis, I would anticipate a substantial favorable vote for 53 here in Orange County.”

Orange County Business Council Executive Vice President Julie Puentes commented, "Proposition 53 is fairly straightforward. Notwithstanding the voters' unfamiliarity with it, I think it passes so long as folks understand it will not trigger any kind of tax increase."

The Orange County Business Council has formally endorsed Proposition 53, encouraging its passage. Neither California State University, Fullerton nor the Center for Public Policy takes a position on any ballot measure or candidate.

Previous results of CSUF/OCBC quarterly surveys are conveniently accessible on the OCBC web site. See: http://www.ocbc.org/resourcesf.htm

These data result from a Random Digit Dialed (RDD) survey of 506 households in Orange County. The survey was administered by telephone between Aug. 26 and Sept. 10, 2003 by the California State University, Fullerton Social Science Research Center (SSRC) for the university’s Center for Public Policy. The SSRC Director is Gregory Robinson.

The population of inference is heads of household or their spouses or domestic partners, 18 years of age or older, residing in households with telephones in Orange County. Interviews typically ran about 11 minutes.
Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software was utilized, supporting highly accurate call management. For example, up to 21 call-back attempts were made in some cases to obtain completed interviews. Telephone interviews were generally conducted Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 2-8 p.m. All interviews were conducted in English.

The response rate for this telephone survey is 67.66%, calculated as completed interviews as a proportion of eligible respondents. Calculated conservatively, the margin of error for a random sample of this size is plus or minus 4.45 percent. The margin of error will be larger when sub-groups of the sample are analyzed.

Appendix I.
Alternate Projection to Distribute Simon, Ueberroth Votes

We reviewed the extent to which strong Simon supporters, and strong Ueberroth supporters [compare Table One], also gave “strong support” to other candidates [again, compare Table One]. We then used that as an alternate means to project a distribution for “votes” [“if the election were held today ….”] for Simon and “votes” for Ueberroth [compare Table Two].

We noted that strong supporters of Simon as measured in our survey [Table One] also told our interviewers that they gave strong support to these other candidates, in the percentages indicated: Schwarzenegger, 49%; McClintock, 18%; Bustamante, 15%; Huffington, 11%; and Camejo, 7%. Using these percentages, then, we reassigned the “votes” [the 3% shown for Simon in Table Two] to these candidates. Naturally, since we re-distributed only 3% of the total, it made only small differences.

Similarly, we noted that strong supporters of Ueberroth as measured in our survey [Table One] also told our interviewers that they gave strong support to these other candidates, in the percentages indicated: Schwarzenegger, 40%; McClintock, 24%; Bustamante, 19%; Camejo, 12%; and Huffington, 5%. Since Ueberroth commanded 13% of the total in Table Two, this made more of a difference than the Simon “votes” did.

The payoff for this analytical projection exercise gave final “vote” totals to the major candidates that vary only a point or so from the analysis reported in Table Three. In specific, the results were these percentages of the “vote,” excluding the “other candidates” category: Schwarzenegger, 51%; Bustamante, 24%; McClintock, 19%; Camejo, 4%; and Huffington, 3%.

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