County Residents Say ‘Yes’
September 17, 2003
Latest Findings, CSUF – OCBC Quarterly Survey:
Orange County Residents:
72% would vote "yes" on recalling
Governor Gray Davis
Support Both Props 53 and 54
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
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.
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.
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
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
g. Businessman and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth,
a Republican running as an Independent
• 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.
Levels of Support / Opposition to Candidates for Governor*
*Rounding errors may make totals for each candidate
equal other-than 100%
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.
Choice for Governor if Davis is Recalled
* 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.”
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.
Choice for Governor if Davis is Recalled –
Distributing Simon & Ueberroth Votes According To Simple
Popularity of the Other Candidates
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.”
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
results of CSUF/OCBC quarterly surveys are conveniently accessible
on the OCBC web site. See: http://www.ocbc.org/resourcesf.htm
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.
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,
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