CA voters say nation headed wrong way
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