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C H A P M A N U N I V E R S I T Y
Director of Public Relations, Chapman University
(714) 289-3143 office, (657) 390-6760 mobile
OC Democratic Voters Divided Between Progressive Sanders and Moderate Bloomberg, Chapman University Survey Finds
Data also shows President Trump’s approval increased by five percentage points since 2019
Orange, Calif. – With Voting Centers open throughout Orange County and Super Tuesday less than one week away, Orange County voters are almost evenly divided. In a survey of 727 county residents, likely voters are on split on their Congressional pick as well as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Of likely Democratic voters, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (24.3%) and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (12.7%) lead the contest for California’s delegates. Approximately 15% of respondents were undecided or refused to answer. Rounding out the top six among were Joe Biden (9.7%), Elizabeth Warren (8.6%), Pete Buttigieg (7.3%) and Amy Klobuchar (4%). California businessman Tom Steyer polled at only 2%. California’s primaries were recently moved to Super Tuesday, so the state and county will play a large role in deciding the ultimate Democratic nominee.
“The data show a tight race between the revolutionary democratic socialist with a legion of young followers and a more moderate—former Republican—billionaire who has spent more than $400 million dollars on ads,” said Fred Smoller, associate professor of political science at Chapman University. “These leaders epitomize the fight within the Democratic party in Orange County, the state and the country.”
In addition to a close Democratic race, the poll shows that the Congressional and Presidential races in November will be very close. When asked about voting for the Democratic or Republican nominees in both races, respondents were statistically even, reflecting the “purple” nature of Orange County’s diverse population.
While still below 50%, President Trump’s popularity has gone up five percentage points since Chapman’s 2019 survey. In Orange County, Trump’s approval now sits at 42%, aligned with his national approval ratings.
“These results are consistent with what we have found in recent years,” stated Mike Moodian, the survey’s codirector and leadership studies lecturer at Chapman. “Orange County is looking more like the rest of the country. County residents’ top two Democratic nominees resemble the top two in national polls and Donald Trump’s approval rating in Orange County is similar to his approval rating nationwide.”
Survey respondents were also asked about two local issues: Great Park vs. an airport and the closure of San Onofre. By a margin of 2:1, residents are happy with the decision to build the Great Park (73.4%) instead of an airport (26%). Orange County residents were slightly more divided on nuclear energy, with 57% saying we need to revisit nuclear power and 42% responding that it is unsafe and commercially nonviable.
The results of the Chapman University Orange County Annual Survey will be released at the sixth annual Public Policy Conference on April 1 entitled Fighting Climate Change. In addition to the survey results, the day’s panels and events will explore the issue of and proposed solutions to climate change. Admission and lunch are free, but attendance requires a reservation. More information can be found at www.chapman.edu/publicpolicy.
About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally-ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the City of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University: www.chapman.edu.
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