WASHINGTON — A new poll released Tuesday shows President Barack Obama with a wide lead in California, a state the president won by a landslide in 2008, along with its whopping 55 electoral votes.
According to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, Obama carries a 19-point advantage over Republican rival Mitt Romney, 56%-37%, a lead that comes as little surprise in the traditionally blue state.
The survey, however, gives insight into voter attitudes in California and reveals big margins for Obama across a number of the state's demographic groups, such as women, Latinos and independents.
Among women, who make up 53% of the state's voting population, about six in 10 prefer Obama, amplifying national trends that indicate a gender gap between the president and Romney, although some recent national polls suggest Romney is picking up support among women.
As for California's Latinos, Obama has overwhelming support from the voting bloc with 75%, compared to Romney at 18%. Among independents, he also fares better against his likely opponent, 46%-37%.
Latinos and independents each represent 20% of the state's voters. The Times' analysis notes that George H. W. Bush was the last Republican candidate to win California (in 1988), prior to the state's surge in Latino and independent voters.
The survey also shows a lack of enthusiasm for Romney among GOP voters. Of those who said they would vote for the candidate, 51% said their choice was more of a vote against Obama than a vote in support of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
And just weeks after Obama made a groundbreaking announcement that he supported same-sex marriage, three-fourths of voters said the issue was not a major issue this cycle, despite the topic being a heavy point of contention in California politics with the ongoing fight over Proposition 8.
The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll, was conducted by Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Republican polling firm American Viewpoint between from May 17 and May 21. The full sample of 1,002 registered voters interviewed by phone has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.