Capitol Alert

Poll says Clinton cruising to victory in California, but may not match Obama

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is poised to win California next Tuesday by 20 percentage points, according to a new survey of likely voters from the Field Poll and UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.


That’s a slightly larger advantage over Republican nominee Donald Trump than she held in the last Field-IGS Poll, taken in September before a series of debates between the two candidates. But Clinton’s tremendous unpopularity is proving to be a burden even in this deep blue state, where she is set to underperform compared to the Democratic nominee in the last two presidential elections, Barack Obama, despite facing an opponent with even worse image ratings than her own.

Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 51 percent of likely California voters, according to the poll, 16 percentage points more than President Barack Obama was in the 2012 election and 21 points more than he was in 2008. Obama beat his Republican rivals those years by more than 23 points in California.

“It looks like she's going to come in under that,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll.

The latest survey has Clinton ahead of Trump 53 percent to 33 percent. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein have both slipped, to 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Clinton now leads in every region of California, including traditional Republican strongholds like the Central Valley and the South Coast.

That could be bad news for the state’s GOP congressmen, some of whom are facing unexpectedly challenging re-election fights this election as Trump and changing demographics upend their once-safe districts. Nearly twice as many likely voters viewed Trump negatively as positively in the Field-IGS Poll, though that is actually an improvement from earlier this year.

“There are no regions where Trump is running strongly,” DiCamillo said, “so it seems like he is serving as a drag throughout the state.”

Trump is leading Clinton in a handful of voter categories, including Republicans, voters 65 and older, those with a high school education or less and those who describe themselves as born-again Christians.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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