FIELD POLL: Voters Favor Davis’ Health Care Views
In the state's gubernatorial race, Democratic candidate Gray Davis holds a "commanding" lead on the "hot-button" issue of health care, according to a new Field Poll. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "by 2 to 1," California voters say they favor Davis' "views on health care," by a 44% to 22% margin over Republican candidate Dan Lungren. "Davis has been doing better on health care and it hasn't been discussed much," said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. The poll also revealed that voters "overwhelmingly see" Davis "as the better candidate on abortion," with 47% supporting his position and 26% supporting Lungren's. "If Davis were to talk about [those issues] more, he could gain an advantage," said DiCamillo. The poll found that health care is one of the ten most important issues for Californians in the election. Health care was ranked sixth, behind education, crime, the economy, strong leadership and taxes. Abortion came in at number eight. The Chronicle reports that "[w]ith just three weeks to go before voters cast ballots November 3, polls that rank such issues invariably have a profound influence on the strategy, advertising and message of the campaigns." DiCamillo said there "are elements that campaigns have control over -- and that they can choose to make more important." The poll also found that Democratic voters generally attach more importance to health care than Republicans. But 35% of both parties consider abortion to be an issue of "major importance." The Field Poll was based on a Sept. 27-Oct. 5 survey of 998 registered voters; 703 were determined to be likely voters Nov. 3. The poll's margin of error is +/-5.2% (Marinucci, 10/8). Click here for past coverage of the governor's race.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.