President Obama's standing has slumped among California voters, but he holds an expansive lead over potential Republican opponents, including two who have leaped ahead of the GOP presidential pack in California, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found.Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were tied at 22% among Republican voters. Two others, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, were barely in double digits, and a parade of other candidates fell well behind.
The poll by The Times and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences underscored the abrupt alterations in the Republican contest. Romney has been campaigning for the presidency for years; Perry had been in the race for mere days before vaulting into the shared lead in California.
But the survey also showed that Obama's strength in California has endured despite deep dissatisfaction among voters with the economy. In hypothetical matchups, Obama led Romney by 19 points, Perry by 24 points and Bachmann by 26 points.