The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


McCain, Clinton Leading California Poll

By Karl Vick
LOS ANGELES -- The latest poll out of California has Sen. John McCain vaulting into a sizable lead over the rest of the Republican presidential field while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) maintains a hefty margin on the Democratic side.

The 39 percent showing for McCain, among likely primary voters in the Los Angeles Times/CNN/Politico survey, is nearly twice what the same poll showed for the Arizona senator on Jan. 15, before he racked up primary wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina. He now leads former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 13 points two weeks ahead of the state's Feb. 5 vote.

The McCain surge appears all the more impressive because California's GOP primary will be restricted, as was the polling, to registered Republicans -- shutting out the independents who have so helped McCain elsewhere. But the Arizona senator runs about evenly with Romney - 32 percent to 28 percent - among the two-thirds of California Republicans who call themselves conservative, while running up powerful numbers (50 percent to Romney's 15 percent) among those identifying themselves as moderate or liberal.

Clinton led the Democratic field with 49 percent to 32 percent for Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and 11 percent for former senator John Edwards (N.C.). The gross numbers show little change from the poll two weeks earlier but with choices more firmly held.

Clinton's strongest support was with registered Democrats, all women (including a 20-point lead among those with a college degree, a category Obama formerly led) the elderly and Hispanics. Obama's draw mirrored the results in South Carolina: strong among African American voters and winning about a quarter of the white vote. The poll shows Clinton ahead everywhere in the state except the San Francisco Bay Area, where Obama runs about even. He has reversed Clinton's once-strong lead among independents, and now leads 41 percent to 28 percent.

The poll was taken last Wednesday through Sunday, and so only one day's sample could reflect any impact from Obama's strong win in South Carolina on Saturday.

If the Obama campaign wants to take advantage of that win, however, it would do well to make haste. California allows voting by mail, and as many as 50 percent of primary voters are expected to cast absentee ballots. One in five Republicans had already done so when pollsters called. Among this group, McCain led Romney 39 percent to 35 percent -- about even, given the sample size.

Democratic absentees were going to Clinton over Obama 53 percent to 30 percent. Among those who plan to vote in person, her lead was eight points.

Posted at 9:38 PM ET on Jan 28, 2008
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At this point I cannot foresee my EVER voting for "Billary". The way they campaigned in South Cartolina demonstrates that they will do & say just about anything to win an election.

Do we want that low level of morality to continue in the White House?

McCain seems more moral than Billary, but I can never see myself voting for a Republican, either.

However, I might just stay home if Billary is the Dem nominee.

Posted by: 5skandhas | January 30, 2008 9:28 PM

no but it sure does make me o e and proud of the distinction Oblapie dosent have the resources to cover California with his race baiting act,and the sniveling bastard will get his ass handed to him in that thar smoggy state, and on super Tuesday, no matter how many Kennedy's endorse him.

Posted by: nightslider | January 29, 2008 5:47 AM

Yes, we will ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 29, 2008 12:48 AM

Jake D,

Yes, I do give McCain the benefit of doubt on that issue. My "however" was pointing to his "straight talk" credentials being questioned as the campaign heads in the most heated moments.

I trust Fund as a reporter and I know McCain goes off some times. I can believe McCain made that statement and at the same time also hold the belief that the statement would not be his overall sentiment with regard to judges.

The main point of my original post was that it would appear that McCain was playing a bit too loose with conservatives right before a closed primary election in FL.

In any case, we'll know tomorrow night how it all worked out.

Posted by: thepoliticalpost | January 29, 2008 12:42 AM


If I simply oppose Obama because he is pro-choice, that doesn't make me a "klan, neo-klan and crypto klan type" does it?

Posted by: JakeD | January 29, 2008 12:23 AM


Thanks for the response -- I was honestly not sure if you would or not -- so, are you giving McCain "the benefit of the doubt" with regard to judges or not (your "however" paragraph leads me ask the question)?

Posted by: JakeD | January 29, 2008 12:21 AM

The wave hasn't reached California yet, but it's coming. Obama's candidacy is a historic event. I'm sure all of the klan, neo-klan and crypto klan types will disagree with this but who cares what they think anyway. The man has a vision and most of us want to be part of it.

Posted by: jarmstrong | January 28, 2008 11:57 PM

Jake D

I generally take McCain at his word and would give the benefit of the doubt on intention with regard to judges.

However, Fund has stood by his story and has more than one source.
McCain, sorry to say, in the last debate when confronted with the his statement about not being up to speed about economics said "I don't know where you got that" to Russert. Anyone who has been paying attention knew he told a reporter that although he was not great on the economy he has Greenspan's book. Tongue-in-cheek to be sure, but he did say it.

Posted by: thepoliticalpost | January 28, 2008 11:55 PM

Obama is disgusting? Please cite an example or quotation to support your assertion.
Obama is classless, childish, and bitter? Is that about Obama not shaking Hillary's hand? Didn't Bill Clinton start the attacks, distortions, and fairy tale allegations? The Clinton's started the personal attacks. They owe apologies first before they have Hillary hover around Sen. Obama just before the State of the Union Address.
Didn't Hillary say that Barack was naive to have direct meetings with adversaries without having pre-meetings first? Shouldn't Hillary's people have alerted Barack's people before she came within handshake distance of him?
Is Hillary naive, or is she just trying to set Barack up to look bad? Again?

Posted by: snlevans | January 28, 2008 11:51 PM

Back to the topic (on the GOP side), New Gallup poll has California as McCain 36, Romney 31, and LAT has it McCain 39, Romney 26 -- it will get even tighter if Romney can pull off a win tomorrow -- nationally, though, Rasmussen's daily track now has Romney slightly ahead, 28-26, and Gallup's track still has McCain ahead. Let's see what happens after Florida.

Posted by: JakeD | January 28, 2008 11:41 PM

Senator Obama is not the one that is disgusting. It's Billary. They will do and say anything to get back in to the white house. They don't care about this country. It's all about them. If she's elected (god help us), what's Bill going to do? A lot of interns in the white house as we all remember.

Posted by: GraceMN | January 28, 2008 11:39 PM


Not sure if you are simply blog-whoring, or if you will actually respond, but I believe McCain has clarified that he has always supported Alito and would indeed nominate Supreme Court Justices like Alito.

Posted by: JakeD | January 28, 2008 11:32 PM

With the McCain-Romney FL race so tight, has McCain reached out to the conservatives within the party enough to win tomorrow?

He has touted the NY Times endorsement on his website, has campaigned with Sen. Lieberman in FL the last few days and now has a questionable Sam Alito quote raised by John Fund in the WSJ.

Posted by: thepoliticalpost | January 28, 2008 11:28 PM

The government is set up as a business with a CEO(chief executive officer), CFO, Board of directors (congress and the house), and the works. Every time they make a decision money is spent. it is about time that we had a businessman running the largest business in the world and not a life long politician like mccain, HillBilly or Obama.. Romney is the best man for the job! Vote Romney!

Romney's background not only make him the best candidate for a slumping economy but his international business background make him the best person for negotiating and dealing with foreign affairs! Vote Romney!

Posted by: slvvn | January 28, 2008 10:36 PM

Posted by: dave_whal | January 28, 2008 10:20 PM

Mr. Obama is so classless, so childish and so bitter. He should never be the president.

Posted by: dave_whal | January 28, 2008 10:18 PM

I already sent my absentee ballot in as well -- hopefully, more conservatives vote in person than liberal or moderate Republicans.

Posted by: JakeD | January 28, 2008 9:54 PM

LOL! I am having Flashbacks to Nevada! Barack, with huge support of the Culinary Union, the Union made up of Illegals!

Oh Darn! THEY, couldn't VOTE!

LOL! Amnesty McCain, Popular in a place where over half of the Immigrants, are ILLEGAL!

Posted by: rat-the | January 28, 2008 9:44 PM

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