LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anxiety about the economy and unhappiness with government were not enough to dissuade Californians from electing two veteran politicians in the state’s marquee races.
California voters sent Attorney General Jerry Brown to the governor’s office and Sen. Barbara Boxer back to Washington despite an antiestablishment mood fueled by worries about jobs and deficits.
An Associated Press analysis of preliminary exit poll results Tuesday and pre-election polls shows more than four out of five voters are at least somewhat worried about the direction the country’s economy will take next year.
About two-thirds of voters said they had negative feelings about how the federal government was working.
Concern about the economy did not translate into support for the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, which backers pitched as a way to create jobs and raise tax revenue.
Voters who said they were “very worried” about the economy’s direction were the most strongly opposed to Proposition 19. Voters who said they were “somewhat worried” about the economy also tended to oppose the measure, while a much smaller group who said they were “not too worried” slightly favored it.
Anti-government sentiment also did not extend to support for defying the federal government’s ban on marijuana. Voters who described themselves as supporters of the tea party movement, which has stirred passions with its anti-big government message, came out overwhelmingly against legalizing pot.
The candidates for both parties held onto their traditional bases of support.
Latinos courted by the Republican candidates still resoundingly supported Brown for governor and Boxer for U.S. senator.
Voters who reported making $100,000 a year or more leaned toward ex-eBay chief executive Meg Whitman for governor and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina for Senate.
The survey of 3,949 California voters was conducted for AP by Edison Research. It includes preliminary results from interviews with 3,349 voters from a random sample of 50 precincts statewide Tuesday; 600 who voted early or absentee were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 22 through Oct. 31. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.
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