The latest SurveyUSA poll of California voters has Democratic incumbent Barbra Boxer narrowly ahead 46% to 43% over Republican Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard who got a golden parachute for running a once-proud tech company into the ground (the source of much of the fortune she's spending to buy this Senate seat) and is campaign as a demagogic know-nothing science denailist. I'm not a fan of Boxer, but a win for the Palin-endorsed Fiorina would be a sure sign that the U.S. is no longer interested in being a civilized nation; for the love of whatever gods you believe in, if you live in California, please help see that Fiorina is defeated.
Democrat Jerry Brown is up 47% to 43% over Republican Meg Whitman in the Governor's race. Brown has more than doubled his lead among Hispanics since it came to light that despite her strong rhetoric on immigration, Whitman employed an undocumented immigrant as a maid for several years, throwing her under the bus once she became a political liability. (Has anyone else noticed how "throwing someone under the bus" has become a favorite political metaphor the past few years?)
I have fond memories of Brown being the last actual liberal-leaning candidate in the 1992 presidential race, holding on to his primary challenge against moderate conservative Bill Clinton; and I like that Brown took a strong stance against Proposition 8 and for constitutional democracy when he was Attorney General. I'd like to see him back in the governor's mansion.
Polling better than either Boxer or Brown is the chronic: Proposition 19, which would legalize recreational cannabis in the state, would pass 48% to 41% according to this poll. The demographics on this are quite interesting: men favor it 54% to 38%, while women are just about evenly split, 43% in favor, 44% against. Voters 18 to 34 and 50 to 64 both strongly favor it (60% to 30% and 50% to 38% respectively), voters 35 to 49 are split 47% to 45%, and voters 65 and older are strongly against it, 48% to 36%. Whites and blacks favor it by substantial margins; Hispanics and Asians are evenly split. I can see older voters being against it, and the families of more recent immigrants being more comfortable with keeping the law as it is also makes sense; I've no idea about the gender gap, or why there's a "donut hole" in support by age group here -- did "Just Say No" really bend the minds of my generation that much?
Republicans and conservatives oppose it; Democrats, independents, liberals and moderates favor it by large margins. This has not gone unnoticed; some Democratic strategists are exploring putting cannabis initiatives on the ballot in Colorado, Nevada, and Washington in 2012 to help energize young liberal voters -- rather like the GOP's homophobic ballot initiatives (along with a stunning amount of voter fraud) helped Bush II win in 2004.