Four years after both California and Marin County recorded their highest voter turnouts ever at 90.4 and 79.4 percent, respectively, the Nov. 6 election is set to challenge that 2008 election for fervor.
A new report has found that six in 10 California voters are more enthusiastic about voting in this election than usual, with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden holding a commanding 12-point lead over Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Voters remain split, meanwhile, on Prop. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to help fund schools by increasing taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 a year for seven years and the sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years.
The report, “Californians and Their Government,” attached at right, was released by the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. It was based on a survey of 2,000 California residents during the week of the second presidential debate, and found that sixty-one percent said they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting in the presidential election.
But while the survey indicated a strong lead for Obama in the presidential race in California, a larger share of Romney supporters (70 percent) than Obama supporters (60 percent) said they are more enthusiastic than usual. Those numbers were largely reversed from the 2008 election, when excitement was more widespread among Democrats.
“The enthusiasm of voters about the presidential election will affect who turns out to vote,” said Mark Baldassare, the organization’s president and CEO. “And that may well make a difference in the outcomes of the statewide propositions.”
Secretary of State spokesperson Shannan Velayas told KCBS last week that 679,000 newly registered voters were verified in the 45 days leading up to Monday’s deadline to register and that number is likely to top a million once all the applications are processed.
Does the PPIC report sound right to you? Are you more enthusiastic than usual about voting in the Nov. 6 election? More than in 2008? Tell us in the Comments.