Let's take a quick look at a few of these recent California Field Polls and where Central California voters factor into those numbers.
- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Republican, and State Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, are the leading candidates in the Field Poll of likely voters for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Barbara Boxer. Harris has declared her candidacy, but Rice says she's not running.
- Voters in Northern California which includes Fresno, Kings, and Tulare Counties, but not Kern County, prefer Harris over Rice but only by 2 percentage points.
- 22% of the voters surveyed say they're "inclined" to support Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin for the Senate seat... that's just below former South Valley State Senator Phil Wyman at 24%.
- 41% of Republican voters say they're "inclined" to support Swearengin... should she run. She's tied in this category with former State GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro who has formed an exploratory committee about getting into the race.
- Field Research conducted the U.S. Senate poll prior to former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announcing that he would not run. 35% of those surveyed say they were "inclined" to back Villaraigosa.
- The Field Poll on Barack Obama's job performance shows the best numbers for the President in more than two years from Californians: 57% approve of his overall performance while 36% disapprove.
- By the same numbers 57% to 36%... more California voters approve of how the President is handling the economy.
- Party Lines: Democrats approve of Mr. Obama's job performance -- 84% to 11% -- however, Republicans strongly disapprove 18% to 75%.
- Governor Jerry Brown also received strong approval in another recent state Field Poll as he begins an unprecedented fourth term. 56% of those voters surveyed approve of Brown's job performance with 32% responding... they disapprove.
- Even Central Valley voters give the Governor a good rating in the poll: 54% approve, 39% disapprove, 7% with no opinion.
- Does Brown have the right experience to deal with the problems facing California? 69% of voters say "Yes", but 57% reply he favors too many big government projects that the state can't afford right now (Are they thinking "bullet train" or water infrastructure?
- Now to the State Legislature... never a popular group but the Field researchers say their new poll has the best numbers for State Lawmakers in years.
- 42% approve of the Legislature's job performance -- 44% disapprove. Democrats give the lawmakers a strong "thumbs up" while Republicans give them a huge "thumbs down."
- Central Valley voters surveyed in the same poll also responded to a question about what state programs should receive more money if state revenues grow at a unexpected rate and California then has more money to spend: 52% say spend more money on K-12 public schools with higher education and law enforcement/prisons tied for second -- then roads/transportation, health care and public assistance.
- Finally, Congress is still in the "doghouse" with California voters according to the Field Poll... with 73% saying they disapprove of the job performance on Capitol Hill and only 18% responding they approve.
Whew! That's a lot of numbers... but if you want more information on these polls... here is a link to help you: http://www.field.com/fieldpoll/