CA vot­ers say na­tion headed wrong way

Global Times US Edition - - USSOCIETY -

A ma­jor­ity of vot­ers cast­ing midterm elec­tion bal­lots in Cal­i­for­nia said the coun­try is headed in the wrong di­rec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a wide-rang­ing sur­vey of the Amer­i­can elec­torate.

As vot­ers cast bal­lots for gover­nor, US Se­nate and mem­bers of Congress in Tues­day’s elec­tions, AP VoteCast found that about a quar­ter of Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers said the coun­try is on the right track, com­pared with roughly seven out of 10 who said the coun­try is headed in the wrong di­rec­tion.

Among the key races that Cal­i­for­ni­ans were cast­ing bal­lots on was the con­test for gover­nor, pit­ting a Demo­cratic heavy­weight and a Repub­li­can busi­ness­man who’s never held elected of­fice, and an all-Demo­crat race be­tween long­time in­cum­bent US Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein and a state se­na­tor from Los An­ge­les, Kevin de Leon.

Health care was at the fore­front of vot­ers’ minds: About a quar­ter of re­spon­dents named it as the most im­por­tant is­sue fac­ing the na­tion in this year’s midterm elec­tions.

Lawrence Reh, a re­tired writer who lives in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area city of Alameda, is among those vot­ers who said health care was an im­por­tant is­sue this elec­tion.

The 76-year-old said health care is “a hu­man right,” and the govern­ment has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide it.

Other key is­sues for Cal­i­for­ni­ans this elec­tion: About one in five con­sid­ered the econ­omy the most im­por­tant is­sue, while about one in five named im­mi­gra­tion.

The en­vi­ron­ment and gun pol­icy were each top of mind for about one in 10 Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers.

Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers have a pos­i­tive view of the na­tion’s cur­rent eco­nomic out­look, with nearly six in 10 say­ing the na­tion’s econ­omy is good, com­pared with about four out of 10 who said it’s not.

In Cal­i­for­nia, the econ­omy has been grow­ing, sur­pass­ing that of the United King­dom ear­lier this year to be­come the world’s fifth largest.

The state has en­joyed more than eight straight years of em­ploy­ment in­creases, Cal­i­for­nia’s se­cond-long­est ex­pan­sion since World War II. The job­less rate slid to a record low 4.1 per­cent in Septem­ber and the state’s ru­ral and agri­cul­tural ar­eas are see­ing his­tor­i­cally low un­em­ploy­ment.

Still, Cal­i­for­nia’s high cost of liv­ing is driv­ing both em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees out of state or to cheaper ar­eas within Cal­i­for­nia.

For Richard and Aleshia Mur­phy, a cou­ple who lives in Lake­wood, just south of Los An­ge­les, the econ­omy was the No.1 is­sue that mo­ti­vated them to vote.

For about one-third of Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was not a fac­tor they con­sid­ered while cast­ing their vote. By com­par­i­son, seven out of 10 said Trump was a rea­son for their vote.

More than 60 per­cent of the votes cast in Cal­i­for­nia dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion went for Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Pa­trick Louie, a govern­ment an­a­lyst who voted near the Cal­i­for­nia Capi­tol in Sacra­mento, said he filled out his bal­lot this year with the in­ten­tion of putting a check on Trump.

The 67-year-old Demo­crat said he doesn’t think Congress is do­ing enough to push back against Trump and that the govern­ment is very di­vided. AP

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