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California Governor: Schwarzenegger at 44%

Survey of 500 Likely Voters

March 15, 2006

Election 2006

California Governor

Phil Angelides (D) 45%
Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) 44%


Election 2006

California Governor

Steve Westly (D) 45%
Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) 44%



March 23, 2006--Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is neck and neck with each of the two most viable candidates seeking the Democratic nomination.

The latest Rasmussen Reports election poll in California shows Schwarzenegger trailing State Treasurer Phil Angelides by one percentage point, 45% to 44%. That is the same nominal advantage Angelides enjoyed in our February poll, when he led 41% to 40%.

State Comptroller Steve Westly leads 45% to 44%. In our previous poll, Schwarzengger led Westly 39% to 34%.

Westly is a well-funded candidate who seems ready to plow millions of his own money into the campaign. But he has been slammed by the Angelides campaign for cheerfully teaming up with Schwarzenegger in 2004 to promote debt-restructuring ballot initiatives.

The fact that both Democrats poll essentially the same numbers at this time suggests the race remains a referendum on the incumbent rather than a choice between competing candidates.

Beginning this month , Rasmussen Reports is releasing data for a three-poll rolling average on our state election polls. Used in conjunction with individual survey results, this tool will help determine whether shifting poll results are due to changes in the race or are merely statistical noise.

The three-poll rolling average for January, February, and March shows that the race is essentially even. The Schwarzenegger-Angelides match-up shows both candidates at 42%. In the other match-up, the rolling average shows Schwarzenegger at 41% and Westly at 40%.

Results for Schwarzenegger and Angelides have remained well within the three-poll margin of error for each survey. Results for Westly have been more volatile with one reading well above the three poll average and one well below.

Crosstabs are available for Premium Members.

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South Dakota recently passed a law certain to be challenged in court that bans abortion except when the life of the mother is it risk. Only 32% of Californians support such a law, and 53% oppose it.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of California voters believe elections are fair to voters. Thirty-two percent (32%) favor public funding of campaigns, 51% oppose public funding.

A majority think most politicians would change their vote to get a campaign contribution, though not necessarily for a low price. Twenty-eight percent (28%) suspect that the cost of influencing a senator or governor is $100,000 or more.

Crosstabs are available for Premium Members.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdgeTM Premium Service for Election 2006 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a mid-term election. We update the President's Job Approval Ratings daily and are polling every Senate and Governor's race at least once a month in 2006.

Rasmussen Reports was the nation's most accurate polling firm during the Presidential election and the only one to project both Bush and Kerry's vote total within half a percentage point of the actual outcome.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was also the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

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The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports March 15, 2006.  The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points at the midpoint with a 95% level of confidence (see Methodology).

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