The Los Angeles Times and Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences released a poll Sunday about the support for Republican presidential candidates and how they would perform against President Barack Obama.
The poll shows that Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney carries the support of many of the Republican voters in California, with 42 percent of registered Republicans saying they would vote for Romney if the California primary were held today. Romney’s closest rival, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, captured about 23 percent of votes.
If the November presidential election were held today between Obama and Romney, Obama would receive 57 percent of the vote in California and Romney would receive 36 percent, according to the poll.
The poll also showed discontent with the current options for presidential candidates. Approximately half of the Republican voters said they wished there were other candidates running for president.
In November 2011, the Los Angeles Times and Dornsife released a poll showing a remarkably different race, with Romney leading by only 27 percent of the vote among Republican presidential candidates and former business executive Herman Cain being Romney’s closest competitor.
Kevin Koeller, a freshman majoring in business administration, said the Republican Party has many strong candidates and the election process, which some people have considered detrimental, could actually help Republicans influence more voters.
“Any of the [Republican] candidates have the capacity to be good leaders since they all are experienced and knowledgeable about the [United States],” Koeller said. “The election process is great for the party, because it gives more publicity to the candidates and better shows the public their values and beliefs.”
Kaya Masler, political director for USC College Democrats, said the Republican Party’s drawn-out election process will not be as important in the general election because most voters focus on the issues rather than the process.
“People assume that [the Republican primaries] will hurt them more than it will because the candidate will eventually be chosen and the rest of the party will consolidate their support,” Masler said. “What could hurt [the Republican Party] more is their focus on social issues right now, when they have a strong opportunity to talk about economics.”
The California Republican primary will be held June 5.