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California voters rank jobs, employment as top presidential election issues

LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: A poster designating a polling station at a school in East Los Angeles,CA, 07 November, 2000, is written in seven languages. Twelve million people are expected to vote in California for the 54 electoral votes to elect the President of the United States. Californians are also voting for Legislative, Federal and State officials and eight state ballot initiatives.
FILE: A new poll shows jobs and employment as the top issue for California's likely voters going into the June 7 primary election.

It's been about eight years since the Great Recession, but California voters still rank jobs and the economy as the most important issue heading into the presidential primary election. That's one of the findings of a new Field Poll released Thursday, just 12 days before the June 7 runoff.

Seven out of 10 likely voters across the political spectrum rated the economy as a top concern, according to results from the Field Poll conducted for the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.

Other top concerns of likely voters include education, health care, terrorist threats, Social Security and ensuring clean air and water.


The poll follows one by the Public Policy Institute of California showing that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has closed the gap against Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Clinton drew 46 percent support to Sanders' 44 percent, meaning they are essentially tied in that race.

Divisions on some issues between California's Democrats and Republicans emerged in the Field Poll, researchers said. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to rank issues like climate change, income equality, affordability of college, equal pay for women, clean air and water and keeping the U.S. out of the war as important.

Republicans tend to consider reducing the deficit and size of government, terrorism threats, tax cuts, immigration, Supreme Court nominations and trade policies among their top 10 issues.

Some regional differences also emerged. Los Angeles County's likely voters were more inclined than those elsewhere to rank as important issues about equal pay for women, race relations, clean air and water, keeping the U.S. out of war and Social Security.

Bay Area voters identified climate change and income equality as their top issues, while those in the Inland Empire and Central Valley consider terrorism, gun laws and reducing government's deficit and size as the most concerning.

The Field Poll also asked likely voters which quality was most important in a U.S. Senate candidate. Seventy percent said they would prefer those who compromise to get measures passed over those who hold to their beliefs without compromising.

The survey of 1,001 registered voters considered likely to cast ballots in the primary was conducted by telephone May 4-11. The maximum sampling error for the poll's results is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.