Field Poll: Obama looks bad but better than GOP

Californian voters don’t much like the idea of re-electing President Barack Obama but they like the alternatives even less, according to today’s new Field Poll.

Only 45 percent of the Golden State’s voters say they’re inclined to have the president serve a second term. Still, he leads the top two Republican contenders by double digits: The poll shows its Obama at 50 percent and Mitt Romney at 40 percent, or Obama at 55 percent and Gingrich at 35 percent.

The survey of 1,000 California voters was conducted Nov. 15 through 27 and has a 3.1-percentage-point margin of error.

The Field Poll found Obama’s job approval rating stands at 48 percent, with 44 disapproving. That’s better than his national numbers; an average of five national polls conducted in recent weeks shows him with 43 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval. On the economy specifically, Californians’ opinion of his work has improved in the past two months, with approval rising from 40 percent to a still-meager 45 percent.

The Field Poll also found that 70 percent of California voters believe the nation overall is seriously off on the wrong track – almost the same proportion as believed so during President George W. Bush’s last year in office.

In a state where big turnout delivers Democratic victories, apathy is anathema to that party’s candidates. Sadly for the president, this poll found 43 percent of California voters don’t believe either re-electing Obama or electing the eventual GOP nominee will do much to solve the nation’s economic problems. Among those who believe otherwise, 27 percent believe Obama’s a better bet and 25 percent believe the GOP is.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.