And a Whopping 46 Points among California Independents...
By Jon Ponder on 7/17/2008, 8:48am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Polling before Labor Day in the presidential race is all but useless, still -- this is amazing:

The latest statewide poll, conducted by the Field organization, shows Democrat Barack Obama extending his lead in the state and now trouncing Republican John McCain by 24 points, 54 percent to 30 percent. In May, Obama’s lead was a smaller 17 points, and in January, an even slighter 7 points.

The Field poll, conducted July 8-14, also demonstrated an enthusiasm gap in California: 51 percent of Obama’s supporters said they were very enthusiastic about him, whereas only 17 percent of McCain’s made the same claim...

[Among] the nonpartisan voters highly coveted by candidates, Obama led 64 percent to 18 percent.

That last number, Obama's 46 point lead among independents, is significant. This is just a guess but much of the antipathy among independents toward McCain, the self-described "maverick," likely can be traced to his position in favor of drilling off the coast.

Drilling for oil along the coast may not be the third rail in California politics but it is certainly, you'll pardon the mangling of metaphors, one of them. There are already dozens of rigs visible along some of the state's awe-inspiring coastal vistas, especially around Santa Barbara, where there was a catastrophic spill in January 1969.

One reason polling at this early stage is useless is because polls usually tighten closer to elections. But elections in California are decided by independents these days, and McCain's 46 point deficit will be --- I'll say it --- impossible to make up, barring some sort of "macaca" moment for Obama that hobbles his campaign.

If subsequent polls continue to show this sort of disparity in favor of Obama, it will save both campaigns tens of millions of dollars in costs of television advertising in California.

It also bodes well for the defeat of Proposition 8, the homophobe lobby's attempt to amend the California Constitution to revoke the right to marry for gay couples.

Speaking of Obama, the fact that "only" 51 percent of Dems are enthusiastic about voting for him is interesting. This could be interpreted to mean that, although they plan to vote for him, as many as 49 percent of California Democrats wish the nominee were someone else.